South Ferriby cement plant is first to 100% waste fuel25 March 2011

Today (25 March) sees a new first, with CEMEX's South Ferriby Cement Plant in North Lincolnshire reporting that it has replaced 100% of the fuel used to heat its cement kiln with fuels made from wastes.

Plant director Philip Baynes-Clarke says that emissions, such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur, have declined by 20% and 43% respectively since alternative fuels were initially introduced in 2002.

"I am immensely proud that this record has been set using a kiln that was commissioned in 1973," says Baynes-Clarke.

"It proves that, with the right team, skills and capital investment, plants like ours in South Ferriby can have a long and healthy shelf life, and advance our manufacturing heritage," he adds.

For Baynes-Clarke, the use of alternative fuels at South Ferriby is key to improving the environmental performance of cement making.

"Our 100% record was set over a three-day period in March, with the kiln remaining stable and producing good quality cement clinker. The challenge is now to exceed our 90% weekly average record and use 100% over a more sustained period," he says.

This is being seen as a very important development: cement-making is energy intensive, involving heating kilns to 1,400C. Increasing the use of alternative fuels made from waste is therefore key to saving fossil fuels for future generations.

Its alternative fuels are secondary liquid fuels (SLF), made from industrial liquid wastes that cannot be recycled, such as paint, thinners, inks and varnishes, and Climafuel (from household residual and commercial waste that would otherwise go to landfill).

Brian Tinham

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