From waste to co-processing

Published 26 September 2018

The route from the waste collection point to co-processing in a cement kiln is not without its challenges and too often, the thermal potential of waste as an alternative fuel in cement production is insufficiently understood. To use such wastes successfully as alternative fuels in cement pyroprocessing lines, their nature and treatment process needs to be understood. By Dr Hubert Baier, WhiteLabel-TandemProjects eU, Germany.

Figure 1: incoming waste requires assessment in terms of its calorific value as well as the impurities present

Ensuring the production and supply of waste-derived solid alternative fuels (AFs) suitable for use in the cement production process has provided many challenges for waste disposal companies and cement plant operators alike. The wishful thinking is to order ready-to-burn fuel that enables the kiln to reach its highest thermal substitution rate (TSR), with the supplier as a reliable partner who delivers in time and at a constant quality.

However, in addition to the technical requirements, waste processing managers and kiln operators should be on the same page to solve any issues that may arise. Therefore, waste processing managers should understand the requirements of co-processing, and cement kiln operators should know how the pretreatment process works. Meanwhile, hardware suppliers have to respect both sides.

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