How Origen Technology Works

To understand the important work Origen is doing, it’s important to know more about calcium oxide — the wonder material commonly known as ‘lime’ — how it’s created, and how it’s used in construction and other industries.

Lime — created from limestone and used extensively in construction and industrial processes such as steelmaking or water purification — reacts naturally with carbon dioxide (CO2) in the form of emissions or in the ambient air.

But there’s a problem. To create lime using existing lime production techniques is carbon intensive, releasing about 1 tonne of CO2 per 1 tonne of lime produced.

At best, this means that lime currently being used to remove CO2 from the atmosphere is carbon neutral.

Origen’s breakthrough zero-carbon lime technology

The breakthrough is that Origen has developed a lime kiln — based on its ZerCaL™ oxy-fuel flash calciner technology — that is able to separate and capture all of the CO2 efficiently during the lime production process.

Limestone (calcium carbonate) is broken down at high temperatures (1000°C) in an oxygen-rich environment to produce zero-carbon lime and pure carbon dioxide.

Once isolated, the CO2 can then either be converted into useful products or stored permanently underground.

The result is that this process creates low-cost, highly scalable zero-carbon lime. It is the creation of zero-carbon lime that is a game-changer, unlocking multiple pathways to carbon removal from the air and/or the oceans.

By creating zero-carbon lime, we can clean up current industrial processes and remove CO2 already released into the atmosphere.

Our partnerships

In October 2020, Origen announced a partnership with Singleton Birch — the UK’s leading independent supplier of lime — to build a zero-carbon lime kiln at its quarry at Melton Ross in North Lincolnshire.

Construction work on the new kiln was completed in July 2022. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2022 and will be the first step in demonstrating that producing zero-carbon lime is possible.

In June 2022, Origen announced a joint project with 8 Rivers Capital, LLC, to create a direct air capture (DAC) facility adjacent to our lime kiln in Humberside.

The project — selected for $1.5 million in carbon removal purchases from Frontier, the advance market commitment to buy permanent carbon removal — will marry Origen’s zero-carbon lime manufacturing process with 8 Rivers’ Calcite Carbon Removal technology to remove more than 1,000 net tonnes per annum of CO2.

Once up and running, according to the current timetable, the joint project will demonstrate a new approach to removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Stay up to date with our progress by checking News and Updates.

You can also find out more about what we’re doing via our company LinkedIn.