Lehigh Hanson (Lehigh) operates a portland cement manufacturing plant in Edmonton. Lehigh currently uses coal and natural gas to fire a rotary kiln at the Edmonton plant to convert limestone, clay, and other minerals into clinker, the precursor to portland cement. Portland cement is used to make concrete, the most common building material in the world and the second most-consumed man-made material, after drinking water.
This brownfield project will install systems and infrastructure to replace 50% of fossil fuels used in the Lehigh kiln with Alternative and Low Carbon Fuels (ALCF). ALCF can include a range of different materials, but they are normally derived from solid wastes which are currently disposed of in landfills. ALCF contain biogenic carbon and their use instead of coal and natural gas will result in a direct reduction of combustion CO2 emissions at the Edmonton facility and an indirect reduction of methane and other landfill gasses from landfills.
The use of ALCF at the Edmonton facility will be undertaken without impact to the health and safety of our employees, the public, or the environment. Moreover, the use of ALCF will have beneficial impacts beyond the reduction of greenhouse gasses from the Edmonton plant. These benefits include the reduction of methane and other landfill gasses, reduced emissions from transportation, and the elimination of persistent solid waste from the environment. Notably, using ALCF to manufacture portland cement will not produce residual bottom ash waste, as is the case with other energy recovery or incineration processes.
Lehigh will use ALCF for which no other viable recycling options exist. These include materials such as single serve plastics, plastic packaging, residual fibres from tires, and wood waste mixed with non-biogenic waste. These materials represent a significant challenge to existing waste management systems. The Edmonton ALCF project will address those challenges in a sustainable and permanent way.