Plan to cut pollution rises from the ashes

Plan to cut pollution rises from the ashes
Published: 15 December 2004

Lafarge Cement’s Cauldon Works is to continue in its mission to reduce its impact on the environment by replacing some of the raw materials it currently uses with a by-product of the paper industry.   The company is looking at reducing the amount of raw materials it has to dig from its quarries to make cement.  Historically it has used limestone and shale as the main ingredients. Now, in an innovative way of using a derivative of the paper industry, Lafarge will use paper ash to replace some of the raw materials. 

In consultation and agreement with the Environment Agency, this latest development highlights the company’s commitment to cut the amount of natural resources it uses as fuels and raw materials in the process.  In fact, more than half the fuel used at the plant now comes from more sustainable sources such as scrap tyres and processed sewage pellets. 

"We are joining forces with an energy recovery power plant in Kemsley, Kent to further improve our environmental performance," said works manager Ian Mycock.   "The plant is partly powered by waste material from an adjoining paper mill - material which cannot be recycled back into paper.  "This combined heat and power (CHP) plant generates electricity for both the paper mill and the surrounding area. 

"The ash we will use is a by-product from this operation. As both limestone and paper ash are calcium-based, this material is a good fit for our process."  Previously, the paper ash from the CHP facility was being sent to a landfill site.  Finding another use for it is good news for the environment and fully in line with the Government’s push to make landfill the last resort for waste disposal." 

Lafarge has invested more than GBP200,000 in new equipment to store the material and introduce it into the kiln where the cement is made.  Ian continues: "Not only will the use of paper ash at Cauldon help us further reduce our impact on the environment, it will also help us maintain our competitiveness and help to secure local jobs and our annual GBP10m-plus contribution to the local economy."