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Successful pilot leads Lafarge and Geocycle Canada towards 100 percent recycled cement

A concrete brick courtyard with concrete walls along one side and lawns and trees behind.
Clinker made with recycled minerals will be used to make 100 percent recycled concrete through ready-mix operations. Lafarge Canada

A pilot project at the Lafarge Brookfield Cement Plant in Nova Scotia, in partnership with Geocycle Canada, has been completed, producing high-quality clinker made of recycled minerals recovered from waste sources. The process can potentially reduce CO2 levels by 60 percent per ton of clinker.

Clinker is the main ingredient in cement, which, in turn, is the active ingredient in concrete. More concrete is sold than all other building materials combined each year globally.

This is the first-ever pilot focused on clinker production from recycled minerals in North America, and the second one in the world across the Holcim Group.

"Our teams have been tirelessly working towards finding solutions to decarbonize our business in Canada," said David Redfern, president and CEO, Lafarge Canada (East). "This new recycled minerals clinker combines operational excellence with circular construction, building new and green from what is considered old and waste. This is a great example of how far we can go - the local team at Brookfield is certainly setting the tone for the industry in Canada."

Lafarge Canada, Geocycle Canada, and the Holcim Group Innovative Centre have collaborated for the past year on a 100 percent circular production of clinker at the Brookfield Plant. The new production method involves substitution of virgin raw materials with lower carbon options from waste sources and utilization of fuels from materials otherwise destined for landfills. The positive industrial trial was conducted in February and cement from this clinker will be produced in spring for further testing and development of the technology.

"This new clinker product will be used to produce a 100 percent recycled cement during this pilot, which will in turn be employed in ready mix concrete operations to produce a 100 percent recycled concrete product - advancing decarbonization and circular construction in Nova Scotia," explained Andrew Stewart, Vice President, Cement, Lafarge Canada (East).

To produce 100 percent recycled material clinker, Geocycle Canada collaborated with waste and byproduct generators in Nova Scotia to secure a solution that contained the necessary components.

"Our Green Growth goals are repurposing industrial waste and by-products for the very foundations of our homes and other buildings, and this is how we contribute to the circular economy, " said Sophie Wu, Head of Geocycle North America.

Holcim's Altkirch plant in France was the first cement manufacturing facility in the world to produce clinker made entirely of recycled materials in 2022. The Nova Scotia trial continues the company's global commitment to business decarbonization and investment in circular construction.

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115 Quarry Park Rd #300
Calgary, AB
CA, T2C5G9


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