Carbon Neutral Lime Kiln

To avoid catastrophic climate change, the world needs to not only reduce emissions extremely rapidly, but also remove carbon dioxide from the air at massive scale.

Singleton Birch, the UK’s leading independent lime supplier, is teaming up with Origen, a technology start-up, to develop a new environmentally-friendly way of producing lime, which has the potential to reverse climate change.

Founded in 1815, Singleton Birch has been quarrying Lincolnshire chalk and producing lime at its Melton Ross site for generations, all the while honing a reputation for its high-quality products which it exports around the world.

Origen is a relative newcomer, founded in 2013 by a researcher at the University of Oxford, to develop a way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is at the cutting edge of efforts to stabilise global temperatures.

 

Carbon intensive to zero carbon lime

Normally, lime production results in large amounts of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere – typically, for each tonne of lime produced a tonne of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. Origen’s process produces lime in a way that captures all of the carbon dioxide that would normally be emitted – resulting in the generation of a zero-carbon lime, which can be sold as an environmentally-friendly substitute for normal lime.

That zero-carbon lime can also be used to strip carbon dioxide from the flue gases of polluting industries or remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. Working together to harness Singleton Birch’s industrial expertise and Origen’s innovative design, the technology they are developing has the potential to not only reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also remove carbon dioxide that has already accumulated in the air.

Using lime to remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air

During the course of 2021, the two companies will work together to construct and operate a prototype plant capable of stripping 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air per year – and they have already undertaken a detailed engineering study to construct a plant twenty times that size.

Beyond that, the process being developed is massively scalable, capable of being deployed at a level which would remove millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. In the decades ahead, even with extremely rapid reductions in emissions, it is estimated that globally, hundreds of billions – if not trillions – of tonnes of carbon dioxide will need to be removed from the atmosphere to ensure that future generations benefit from a stable climate.

The first steps will be taken here in the Humber by a partnership between two companies – one with a proud heritage that reaches back to the Industrial Revolution and the other a pioneer in the emerging field of greenhouse gas removal. We look forward to making further progress.

 

“The technology has the potential to not only reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also remove carbon dioxide that has already accumulated in the air.”

 

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