Modern society is facing a dilemma as to how we manage wastes. The cement kiln provides an ideal means of disposing of many waste materials, while generating the energy required to make cement.
As the world population grows, co-processing of waste -as a replacement for traditional fossil fuels -will play an important role in waste disposal. Interest in co-processing municipal solid waste and sewage sludge is rising. The cement industry can use part of this waste as alternative fuels and raw materials, providing a benefit to society by reducing the need for incineration or land-filling of waste.
In the next decade, the increasing population will place even more pressure on waste disposal capabilities. Cement production is energy intensive. It could provide the ideal solution to the safe disposal of otherwise un-recyclable materials. The CSI has developed strict quality guidelines for the co-processing of waste and the use of raw materials.
The diagram shows the increase of the use in alternative fossil fuels and biomass in cement production, expressed in average thermal energy derived from these alternatives to fossil fuels.
Cement companies must continuously prove that their ability to co-process waste materials in appropriate and safe ways matches the expectations of stakeholders. The acceptance of co-processing by local communities is a key element in the development of the activity. Stakeholder concerns need to be addressed and environmental standards to be set and respected.
As the knowledge of alternative fuels and raw materials for the cement sector has improved, and the availability of alternative resources has increased, the CSI is updating its existing guidelines on the core rules for the environmentally sound and safe handling of waste materials, both hazardous and non-hazardous, and to provide examples of what can be achieved to support local legislation on this issue.
In addition, the CSI will contribute to the wider dissemination of that knowledge and the new guidelines, particularly in fast growing countries. CSI will support the activities of regional and national trade associations in that respect, including with local authorities, to facilitate the development of the responsible use of alternative fuels and raw materials.