Geocycle and Lafarge Canada claim first in North America with pilot of 100% circular clinker production

Holcim Group members Lafarge Canada and Geocycle Canada have completed a pilot at the Lafarge Brookfield cement plant (Nova Scotia) to produce high-quality clinker made of recycled minerals recovered from waste sources, which can potentially reduce CO2 level by 60% per tonne of clinker.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / May 20, 2024
By Liam McLoughlin
The clinker production pilot was completed at pilot at the Lafarge Brookfield cement plant in Nova Scotia. Image: Holcim Group
The clinker production pilot was completed at pilot at the Lafarge Brookfield cement plant in Nova Scotia. Image: Holcim Group

Clinker is the main ingredient in cement, which in turn, is the active ingredient in concrete. The two partners says this is the first-ever pilot test conducted in North America and the second one in the world across Holcim Group. Globally, each year, there is more concrete sold than all other building materials combined.

“Our teams have been tirelessly working towards finding solutions to decarbonize our business in Canada,” says 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.”

Over the past year, Lafarge Canada, Geocycle Canada, and the Holcim Group Innovation Centre have been collaborating on a 100% 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 landfill. The positive industrial trial was performed 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% recycled cement during this pilot, which will in turn be employed in ready mix concrete operations to produce a 100% recycled concrete product - advancing decarbonization and circular construction in Nova Scotia,” says Andrew Stewart, VP cement at Lafarge Canada (East).

In order to be able to produce 100% recycled material clinker, Geocycle Canada collaborated with waste and by-products 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, " says Sophie Wu, Head of Geocycle North America.

In 2022, Holcim says its Altkirch plant in France was the first cement manufacturing facility in the world to produce clinker made entirely of recycled minerals.

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