CEMEX utilises by-pass dust for agricultural use

CEMEX utilises by-pass dust for agricultural use
26 October 2023

CEMEX and waste management company Silverwoods are utilising by-pass dust (BPD) from the CEMEX Rugby cement plant for agricultural purposes, supporting the circular economy. Since 2015 nearly 130,000t of BPD have been recovered through the partnership.

BPD is ideal for use on farmland due to its high potassium and lime content, meaning it can provide a direct sustainable replacement for traditional fertilisers and lime. Additionally, by re-using BPD, CEMEX has been able to dramatically reduce the amount of process by-product it landfills; this figure is now zero.

Paul Fletcher, head of sustainability for CEMEX Europe, commented: “We are very proud of our partnership with Silverwoods and the considerable positive impact their innovation and expertise has had on our ability to reuse BPD for other applications. We believe it leads the way in our industry and presents real potential to be adapted elsewhere across our operation; not only does it benefit the environment by reducing the amount of materials that need to be disposed of, but it generates a product that has a value for farmers and helps cut the use of traditional materials. 

"Indeed, the value of this partnership demonstrates that to deliver true circularity, more industrial by-products, including those from different sectors of the economy, need to be used as secondary resources, rather than primarily be seen as waste. If this is to be achieved, a new perspective is needed to boost circular economy practices, with regulations and permitting supporting this proactively.”

To further explore the benefits of using CEMEX’s BPD in an agricultural setting, Silverwoods has funded two research and development PhD studies. The first identified the agronomic benefits of the land application of BPD while the second, which is currently ongoing, attempts to calculate how much carbon can be captured and sequestered from the land application of BPD through enhanced rock weathering and also via improved crop performance.

This research was recently recognised at the Eco Innovation North West Awards at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, organised by Lancaster University, winning the Carbon Journey Award.

Published under Cement News