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Cement firms get rules on use of alternative fuels, materials

May 5, 2010 7:28pm
With big cement companies in the Philippines starting to use alternative fuels and raw materials, the Environment Department has drawn the guidelines on the use of waste materials as production ingredients.

The guidelines contained in Administrative Order 2010-06 would ensure that the use of alternative fuels and raw materials in the cement industry is compatible with our existing national laws and policies on hazardous waste, waste management and air quality standards to reduce their environmental impacts, Environment Secretary Horacio Ramos said Wednesday.

“Cement production is energy-intensive, and giant cement companies in the country have started co-processing alternative fuels and alternative raw materials in manufacturing cement," Ramos said.

Alternative fuels are non-traditional fuels, including waste materials as sources of thermal energy in cement production, while alternative raw materials are waste products used as essential minerals in making cement.

Co-processing, the department said, is the reuse or recovery of mineral or energy content of waste materials while making cement in a single operation.

According to Ramos, waste materials for cement kiln burners include plastic waste, car tires, waste wood, rice husk, sewage sludge, animal meal, waste oil and solvents.

Hazardous waste materials should pass the acceptance criteria set by the department based on their calorific value, mineral oxides, heavy metal content and other substances that impacts on kiln operation, clinker and cement quality, Ramos said.

An alternative raw material is acceptable if its ash content is greater than 50 percent, and its total mineral oxide content is greater than 75 percent, while an alternative fuel should have a gross calorific content of not less than 2,000 calories per kilo, the order said.

Waste materials may be processed to comply with the requirement, Ramos said. But waste materials that fail to pass the waste acceptance criteria would be banned from being used as alternative fuel.

The order also bans the use of health care wastes, asbestos wastes, all types of batteries, electronic assemblies and scraps, explosives, cyanide wastes, mineral acids, radioactive wastes and un-segregated municipal solid wastes as alternative fuels.

Cement kilns are fuelled traditionally by non-renewable energy, such as coal, fuel oil, pet-coke and natural gas, and use limestone, marl, sand, shale, clay, pyrite cinder, diorite and silica as raw materials. —VS, GMANews.TV
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