One of the most important objectives of Energy Strategy 2050 is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). By signing the Paris Agreement, Switzerland has undertaken to reduce its CO2 emissions by half relative to 1990.
At around 2.5 million tonnes of CO2, cement production accounts for a considerable share of nationwide emissions: 7 % to be precise. The majority of these emissions are produced during lime burning which sees the CO2 held in the lime released. It is not possible to reduce these CO2 emissions from a chemical perspective. However, the gas could be used to reduce the consumption and importing of fossil fuels in Switzerland, as demonstrated by ZHAW researchers in a joint project. Together with renewable hydrogen, the CO2 can be converted into renewable methane. This could then be fed into the existing natural gas grid and be utilised by fuel cell technologies which exhibit a high level of efficiency.
In four technical projects, the researchers developed new components, materials and processes in order to map the entire value chain. In a fifth, non-technical project, they analysed the sustainability of the process.