Lafarge Cement UK’s Cauldon Works, near Ashbourne, is working to phase out the use of traditional fossil fuels by using it as another sustainable waste-derived fuel. The factory already gets more than half of the energy used to heat its raw materials from more sustainable sources. Now it has applied to the Environment Agency for permission to run the first UK cement works trial using ’recovered fuel oil’ as part of its fuel mix. Recovered fuel oil is made up of waste oils from places including high street garages, motor manufacturers and boat yards.
The UK generates more than 400,000 tonnes of waste oils a year. Traditionally these oils have been used in the power generation and asphalt industries. But, from the end of this year, this is set to change when new exacting emissions limits come into law through the introduction of the Waste Incineration Directive.
Lafarge has projects under way as part of an ongoing programme of investment at the plant to ensure compliance with the new limits. Further investment will be made in equipment to store and handle RFO. Provided the plant is given the go ahead from the Environment Agency and a trial is completed successfully, it will be able to use RFO as a fuel on a permanent basis.
"This is a very exciting development," said Ian Mycock, Cauldon Works manager. “Here at Cauldon we are used to pioneering the latest fuels and technology to achieve major breakthroughs. The successful introduction of recovered fuel oil could result in us potentially running without traditional fossil fuels - a fantastic environmental step.
"The introduction of this new legislation has given us a potential opportunity to utilise the energy gained from RFO. We are taking the responsible approach and putting ourselves forward to use it as a fuel, if it does become available.