The lime industry is and will continue to be energy intensive. While certain physical and chemical restrictions limit what level of improvement is theoretically possible to achieve, Nordkalk continues to actively work on issues relating to energy efficiency and climate impact. Measures to optimise our production processes, mix of fuels used or choice of environmental friendly transports are key tools to reduce emissions from our operations. To capture and reuse secondary heat from our limekilns and find solutions to store energy with lime are other efforts to improve climate impact.
Producing quicklime will always require a lot of energy due to the exothermic nature of the process and CO2 will be released from the limestone during calcination due to the chemical reaction formula. Still, we see possibilities to continuously improve our performance both when it comes to energy efficiency and emissions.
In Finland, Nordkalk has a long history of participating in the Energy Efficiency Agreements and is currently participating in the latest agreement which covers the years 2017-2025.
Nordkalk also has a long experience of capturing secondary heat from our lime kilns and using it either on-site or delivering it to the local communities’ district heating networks. All rotary kilns in Nordkalk are equipped with heat recovery set-ups.
During recent years, Nordkalk has decreased emissions into the air by investing in new abatement technology at many of its production plants. The new equipment helps to cut down on both gaseous and particulate emissions. All Nordkalk lime kilns are covered by the EU Emission Trading System, which ensures that the CO2 emissions are followed rigorously.
CASE: Energy storage with lime
In 2018, Nordkalk embarked on an interesting project to study how energy could be stored with the help of lime. The energy storage company SaltX Technology and Nordkalk Corporation signed a Letter of Intent to manufacture Nano Coated Salt.
Especially energy storage from renewable resources is challenging and new technologies are desperately needed. New NCS-technology is one of the solutions. Nano-coated technology by SaltX has been developed to store energy thermo-chemically. The main ingredient of the "salt" is calcium oxide i.e. lime, which has a good volumetric energy density. The technology enables a long-term and a cost-effective solution.
Nordkalk started pilot production in Pargas Finland and has produced several tons of the SaltX NCS based on SaltX’s recipe and specifications. The capacity of full-scale production will be 10,000 tons of NCS, which is equivalent to 4,000 MWh of thermal energy storage.
At Nordkalk, we find it important to support and participate in different development projects to find new ways of doing things that benefit the environment.
WE COMMIT TO lowering emissions to air by
- improving our energy efficiency and monitoring our completed energy efficiency actions against an annual target
- taking decisive steps towards fossil-free operations
- investing a minimum of 10% of our investment budget (3-year rolling average) into better environmental technologies and increasing the automated monitoring of emissions
- choosing low-emission alternatives for logistics: transport by sea or rail, where possible, aiming for a higher payload and alternative fuels in truck transport
- approving one new carbon reduction action each quarter.
Nordkalk is the leading limestone company in Northern Europe. We deliver essential raw materials to numerous industries, and our solutions contribute to clean air and water as well as productivity of agricultural land.