The energy required to produce 1t of cement has dropped 1.1 per cent, according to the Portland Cement Association (PCA) annual survey of energy use at U.S. and Canadian cement plants. In 2006, the amount of energy required to produce 1t of cement averaged 4.649 million Btu per ton.
The US cement industry is voluntarily trying to increase energy efficiency by 20 per cent, compared to a 1990 baseline, by 2020. The recent report shows it is more than halfway there, with 12 per cent cumulative improvement from 1990 levels. Since 1972, the industry’s overall energy efficiency has increased more than 37 per cent.
PCA credits advancements in process technology, conservation measures and greater use of alternative fuels for the steady gains. "It’s a mindset, an operating philosophy," says Andy O’Hare, PCA’s vice president of regulatory affairs. "There’s no single solution. Plants are constantly looking at all aspects of operations for ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions."