Producing boron cement

Published 24 August 2021

The creation of low-energy belite clinker is a specific area of research that aims to reduce CO2 emissions from the cement manufacturing process. Boron minerals, of which Turkey has 73 per cent of the world’s reserves, are a possible raw material that can be used in the production of belite cements. TÜRKÇIMENTO, the Turkish cement manufacturers’ association has carried out a study into the use of colomonite boron ores to determine their suitability for the production of boron cement. By Serkan Türk, Türkçimento, Turkey.

Can Turkey’s vast boron deposits be put to good use in the country’s cement industry?

To keep CO2 out of the cement production cycle, significant efforts are necessary.1 CO2 levels in the atmosphere are currently about 401ppm, which is 70 per cent higher than pre-industrial levels of 280ppm, and are anticipated to reach 550ppm in 2050.2 The cement industry produces about 6-8 per cent of total global CO2 emissions.

To reduce CO2 emissions in this industrial sector, different studies are ongoing in several areas, including:
• alternative raw materials and fuel use
• carbon capture, utilisation and storage
• increasing energy efficiency.

To contribute to long-term emission reduction measures, the cement industry is undertaking a variety of actions and research in numerous fields. The creation of low-energy belite clinker is one such area of research. Belite clinker is burned at roughly 1300˚C, whereas Portland cement (PC) clinker is burned at approximately 1450˚C. Raw materials that can be used in belite cement production include boron minerals. Boron mines are the most important mines in Turkey, with the country home to 73 per cent of the world’s boron reserves.3

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