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How to make alternative fuels cost-efficient for the cement industry?

Environmental issues, urbanization and IoT are challenging the cement and lime business around the globe. With the right waste processing equipment, alternative fuels can replace fossil fuels without compromising quality or cost-efficiency.

TANA participated in the 13th Global CemFuels Conference & Exhibition held in Amsterdam, Netherlands on February 20th – 21st. The event brought together the experts from the field of cement industries to discuss the latest trends in alternative fuels.

Urbanization creates more need for high-quality alternative fuels

Urbanization is a global megatrend. Companies in the cement and limestone industries are starting to invest more in Asian, South-American and African market areas due to the significant amount of construction taking place at these distant locations. Alternative fuels are a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solution for fuelling the cement kilns – also for countries in these regions.

The trouble is that the input material is not usually well defined in these areas. In order to produce the alternative fuel from waste to use in cement production, the companies need to process mixed waste with several machines including different shredders and screens before the alternative fuel can be safely used.

The common problem many cement producers face are the costs deriving from the sheer amount of machinery needed to produce alternative fuel. Still, these companies can make the shift from fossil fuels to alternative fuels and turn waste into high-quality fuel cost-efficiently.

The change begins with the equipment. With TANA Shark waste shredder cement and limestone businesses can produce a consistent 50mm particle size in one pass. The input material is ready for cement kilns and there is no need for additional processing.

RDF needs to be of a high quality to be used as alternative fuel in cement kilns

Picture: RDF needs to be of a high quality to be used as alternative fuel in cement kilns

Turning the waste stream into a homogenous size is crucial: only with high-quality RDF and SRF can the quality of clinker and ultimately cement be ensured. If the material fed into the kiln varies in quality, it is difficult to keep the temperature optimal and stable. In turn, producing high-quality cement requires a stable temperature in the kiln. The current trend in the field of cement and lime industry is to switch from refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to more standardized solid recovered fuel (SRF). SRF has a more defined particle size, certain calorific value, and density which ensures that the cement made with the alternative fuel is of excellent quality.

End-of-life tires are a great alternative fuel when shredded into homogenous particles

Picture: End-of-life tires are a high-quality alternative fuel when shredded into a homogenous particle size.

Utilizing data, IoT and Industry 4.0 can decrease costs and emissions

Another trend in the cement and lime industry is the growing interest in data. The companies in the cement and lime industry are now experimenting with solutions related to IoT and industry 4.0. As cement plants gather growing amounts of data from sensors that can monitor temperature or the rotation of fans, for example, they can determine where their production can be adjusted for more profit. With compatible software, cement producers can decrease their energy consumption and better control the emissions to save money.

TANA ProTrack® is a fresh indication of how industrial internet can improve business. The service concept collects, analyses and presents the data that is produced by TANA machines. With this data, TANA customers can enhance their business and turn waste to value based on facts not a gut feeling.


Read about how tire-derived fuel can be used in cement kilns.

TANA will take part in the upcoming exhibitions also.