Cemex UK has been granted a permit for a trial by the cement industry regulator, the Environment Agency (EA), to increase the use of tyres from 12 to 25 per cent as part-replacement for coal to heat the cement kiln at Rugby Works in Warwickshire. This decision comes after an extended period of record performance while using tyres, with data showing a marked reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen (up to 30 per cent) when tyres are in use. Cemex welcomes the EA decision, which is key to improving the company’s environmental performance and will help to ensure that quality cement from the plant is provided as sustainably as possible.
In addition to the direct environmental benefits of reduced emissions, using alternative fuels, like tyres, has indirect sustainable benefits, such as recovering energy from what would otherwise be considered a waste material. Each year 40 million tyres are scrapped in the UK. Using alternative fuels at Rugby Works could help to minimise illegal dumping and preserve fossil fuels for future generations.
The tyres increase follows news last month that Rugby plant has been granted permission to trial another waste-derived fuel, Climafuel, to replace up to 30 per cent of the fossil fuels used at the plant. This means that when used together in the future, tyres and Climafuel could substitute up to 55 per cent of the fuel used to heat the kiln. This would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the plant.
Cemex is planning to gradually increase the use of tyres with immediate effect, and once the trial using increased volumes has been completed, Climafuel will be introduced in a trial which is due to commence in the new year.