Waste co-processing in cement plants

Waste co-processing in cement plants, a method frequently used in various parts of the world to treat and dispose of waste in a completely safe manner. This method applies to:

  • waste that has energetic content and therefore can be thermally recovered as alternative fuels
  • waste that has a chemical or mineralogical composition that allows its material recovery as:
    - alternative raw materials for clinker production;
    - mineral components for composite cement production

This method significantly helps to achieve major sustainable development objectives because it reduces:

  • the amount of natural resources used in production processes -d through a partial substitution of fossil fuels and/or raw materials with alternative fuels and raw materials
  • emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2) generated if such waste is land-filled or incinerated
  • production costs (on medium or long-term)

and provides an environmental service to society, by dealing safely with wastes that are often difficult and much more expensive to dispose of in any other way.

Unfortunately, not all the waste can be co-processed in cement plants. Limitations are imposed by:

  • specific requirements related to the cement production process
  • the maximum levels of emissions imposed on cement plants by Government Decision nr. 128/2002, along with the subsequent modifications and additions on Waste Incineration
  • occupational health and safety standards

Complex physico-chemical testing is therefore required before accepting waste for co-processing so that strict control can be maintained over all factors that may result in exceeding these limitations.

For a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of co-processing options, see Co-processable Wastes.
Holcim is actively committed to extend the waste co-processing capacities at all its factories in Romania and, along with its partner Geocycle, assures the stakeholders that all necessary measures will be taken to make certain that the environmental services provided have no negative impact on public health and safety, environment or quality of Holcim products. For more details see Environmental Services offered by Holcim (Romania) S.A.