Low Carbon Cement (LCC)
In the production of cement, CO2 is emitted through fossil fuel combustion and through a chemical reaction of the raw materials. Because cement is used widely as a construction material, its production contributes significantly to global warming. In Phase 1 of the project, EPFL in collaboration with partner institutions in Cuba and India conducted extensive research on a new cement type (LC3) which emits 10-30% less CO2 emissions compared to commercially available cements. Phase 2 of the project aims at preparing the grounds for large-scale production of the new cement by the industry, with a particular focus on India and Cuba.
Climate change and environment
Energy conservation & efficiency
- Cement companies and Ready-mix concrete producers
- Building and infrastructure construction companies
- Architects and engineers
- Policy makers
- Standard setting bodies
- Building material certification agencies
- The technical, economic and ecological viability of LC3 is scientifically investigated and validated.
- LC3 is produced by pioneering cement companies and showcased in representative construction projects in India, Cuba and select other countries.
- A conducive regulatory environment is created for upscaling the production and application of LC3 through standards, policies and certification.
- All relevant technical characteristics of LC3 are scientifically investigated and published.
- Environmental (CO2 reduction, resource efficiency) and economic (production costs) benefits of LC3 are further monitored, analysed and published.
- Support is provided to companies in assessing the technological and economic feasibility for LC3 production and in building capacity for initiating its production and application.
- LC3 is used as a construction material for general purpose applications in representative buildings and infrastructure projects.
- LC3 and LC3 based applications are filed and accepted for consideration by the standards setting bodies in Cuba and India.
- LC3 based products are rated by green building certification agencies.
- Policy documents and strategies for reducing emission and improving resource efficiency at the national and international level mention LC3 favourably.
- CO2 emissions: Detailed case studies have confirmed that the production of LC3 with a clinker content of 50% causes about 10% less CO2 emissions than pozollanic cements (PPC) and about 30% less than Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC).
- Technical characteristics: Extensive tests in the lab and in the field have shown that LC3 has equal or better characteristics than standard cements.
- Raw material availability: Resource mapping has shown that suitable clays are widely available in India, partly even as waste materials from current mining activities.
- Economics: While the actual cost of producing LC3 depends on the specific circumstances of each cement plant, case studies indicate that on average the production costs are similar or slightly lower.
- Industry buy-in: Cement companies have become increasingly interested in LC3. Two companies have undertaken industrial trial productions on their own. They have produced 200 t of LC3 cement.
- Standards: The project laid a good foundation for the standardisation of LC3. Nevertheless, it will take some more efforts until standards are in place that allows the use of LC3 with a clinker content of 50% or less.
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne
- Swiss Private Sector
- Environmental/Sustainability initiatives by the cement industry, e.g. the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI)
- Affordable housing schemes of the Governments of India and Cuba
- Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP)
- Capacity building project for low carbon and climate resilient city development in India (CapaCITIES)
- New GPCCE sustainable building materials project in Latin America
- United Nations Environment Programme
- United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
About 5% of man-made CO2 emissions originates from cement production. The demand for cement continues to increase rapidly, in particular in developing and emerging countries due to urbanisation, infrastructure development and growing population. India is the second largest producer of cement, accounting for around 8% of the country’s industrial CO2 emissions and cement consumption is expected to grow between 6-10% annually. In the Paris Agreement, India has committed to reducing the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% until 2030 from the 2005 level. In Cuba, there is an urgent demand for increasing the domestic cement production capacity. The Government of Cuba is interested in using LC3 for social housing and other infrastructure activities. Several cement companies, government owned as well as private, in various developing economies have shown interest to learn in detail about the new cement type and test it themselves.
LC3 is established as reliable, viable and green cement.
Results from previous phases:
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 3'000'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 2'708'765|
|Project phases||Phase 99 01.06.2017 - 31.12.2019 (Completed) Phase 2 01.06.2017 - 31.05.2020 (Current phase) Phase 1 01.01.2013 - 31.05.2017 (Completed)|