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Vicat and Hynamics unveil Hynovi CCU project plans

France-headed Vicat SA, a privately-held global cement, concrete, and aggregates major, in partnership with low-carbon hydrogen provider Hynamics, a subsidiary of energy-provider Groupe EDF, has announced that it is developing an integrated solution for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and producing low-carbon methanol - carbon capture and utilization (CCU) project.

Vicat SA, a privately-held global cement, concrete, and aggregates major, in partnership with low-carbon hydrogen provider Hynamics, a subsidiary of energy-provider Groupe EDF, are developing an integrated solution for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and producing low-carbon methanol – carbon capture and utilization (CCU) – at Vicat’s Montalieu-Vercieu cement plant in eastern France (photo courtesy Dominique Grandemange).

According to a statement, the Hynovi was put forward under a call for proposals by the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) program. Prenotification of its participation in the program has been received from the French government, and it is currently being evaluated by the European Commission (EC).

The Hynovi project aims to capture up to 40 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by Vicat’s Montalieu-Vercieu cement plant in eastern France. CO2 emitted by the cement plant will be recovered and combined with hydrogen from an Hynamics’ on-site electrolyzer to produce recycled carbon methanol.

Displace methanol imports and cut carbon emissions

Global consumption of methanol has doubled over the last decade and global installed nameplate production capacity in 2021, is according to Methanol Market Services Asia (MMSA), estimated to pass 161 million tonnes, up 8 million tonnes compared to 2020.

The industry is anticipated to continue growing to meet new needs related to transportation, especially shipping, and a low-carbon chemicals sector. Methanol, 99 percent of which is derived from fossil fuels, is extensively imported into France for use in industries such as transport, chemicals, and construction.

If realized, the Hynovi project could capture and utilize half a million tonnes of CO2 from Vicat’s cement plant annually. By installing a 330 MW electrolyzer at the cement plant in 2025, capturing CO2 from the kiln exhaust stack, and harnessing oxygen for oxy-combustion, the plan is to produce more than 200 000 tonnes of methanol which is approximately 25 percent of France’s total current consumption.

This ambitious project could subsequently be duplicated at other industrial facilities in Europe and throughout the world. Vicat alone currently (2020) operates 16 cement plants around the world with an annual output of around 25 million tonnes.

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