Ben Turner, CEO of Origen discusses the importance of zero-carbon lime in helping the UK meet Net Zero carbon emissions targets

There are many ways to reach a Zero Carbon future, but one often overlooked player in the UK’s efforts to meet this milestone by 2050 is the development of zero-carbon lime.

Used in everything from building materials such as steel, to refining sugar and even purifying drinking water, lime is manufactured from limestone and is vital for many industries. Unfortunately, lime cannot be produced without creating carbon dioxide – for every tonne of lime produced, a tonne of carbon dioxide is emitted. The net effect is that globally, lime manufacturing is responsible for 400 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Zero-carbon lime can help eliminate these emissions, yielding both environmental and financial benefits to the industry. Environmentally, 1% of global emissions can be avoided which is critical in our fight against climate change. Financially, the benefit is paramount. Carbon prices threaten the financial viability of the industry, and cost-effectively addressing these emissions helps to mitigate that challenge.

Beyond the here and now, zero-carbon lime can also be used for the purposes of point-source carbon capture, as well as removing carbon dioxide from the air itself. So, not only can we enable an industry to decarbonise, there is a huge growth opportunity for the industry – a win-win situation.

What’s next for this innovative new clean technology?

We recently broke ground on our pilot plant, in partnership with Singleton Birch, the UK’s leading independent lime manufacturer. As the first of its kind globally, we want to revolutionise lime production. By working together with Singleton Birch, we are leading the charge to commercialise a product that delivers zero-carbon lime for their client base, as well as reducing their own carbon emissions.

The next step is to expand the use of zero-carbon lime and grow the lime market. We are developing products that enable point-source carbon capture as well as carbon removal directly from the air. These two markets represent significant opportunities for zero-carbon lime which not only benefits the existing lime industry but will enable the decarbonisation of other industries and will significantly support global efforts to combat the climate crisis.