Cement Plants Continue Make Strides in Efficiency, US

Cement Plants Continue Make Strides in Efficiency, US
Published: 20 June 2007

In 2006, the amount of energy required to produce one ton of cement decreased 1.1 per cent, continuing the industry’s significant gains in energy efficiency during the last three decades.

The Portland Cement Association, an industry trade group, conducts an annual survey of energy use at U.S. and Canadian cement plants. In 2006,
the amount of energy required to produce one ton of cement averaged 4.649m Btu/ton.

The U.S. cement industry has adopted a voluntary target of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent from a 1990 baseline by 2020. According to this most recent report, it is more than halfway there, with a 12 per cent improvement from 1990 levels. Since 1972, overall industry energy
efficiency has increased by more than 37 per cent.

PCA credits advancements in process technology, conservation measures, and greater use of alternative fuels for the steady gains. "Its a mindset, an operating philosophy," says Andy O’Hare, PCA’s vice president of regulatory affairs. "Theres no single solution. Plants are constantly looking at all aspects of their operations for ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions."

In 2006, six cement plants were among the seventeen U.S. Manufacturing plants honored with the first-ever Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star awards.  The plants were honored for their superior energy efficiency performance.

Energy efficiency is a key component of the cement industrys voluntary climate change efforts. In addition to energy efficiency, the industry is working toward a number of voluntary environmental targets:

-To reducing CO2 emissions by 10 percent (from a 1990 baseline) per ton of cementitious product produced or sold by 2020.
-A 60 percent reduction (from a 1990 baseline) in the amount of cement kiln dust (CKD) disposed per ton of clinker produced by 2020.
-At least 40 percent of U.S. cement plants will have implemented an auditable and verifiable Environmental Management System (EMS) by the end of 2006, 75 per cent by the end of 2010, and 90 percent by the end of 2020.