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Holcim starts using alternative fuel in its Höver cement plant

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

In March 2022, Holcim’s cement plant in Höver is to begin using refuse-derived fuel Renotherm®.

Renotherm® is a substitute fuel, produced by the Remondis company in its waste treatment plant in Bramsche. Various types of waste, such as paint and varnish sludge from the automotive industry, are conditioned into bulk material in this plant. The result is Renotherm®. This process was specially designed for later use in the rotary kiln at the Höver works.

The fuel is highly flammable and explosive atmospheres can form due to this. For this reason, separate fire and explosion protection concepts were created and implemented for the use of Renotherm®, together with the specialist company DMT GmbH & Co. KG, which aim to prevent the formation of explosive atmospheres as best as possible.

The measures taken include, among other things, automatic fire detection and fighting systems, automatic exhaust air technology to avoid explosive atmospheres including filter technology and various measurement and control technologies. These measures were part of the approval process and must be complied with when operating the plant.

In the course of the approval process, a preliminary environmental impact assessment proved that the use of Renotherm® does not have any significant adverse effects on the environment and that the protection of people and the environment is still guaranteed. The previous emission limits applicable to Holcim will not be changed. Compliance with the limit values must be verified by Holcim after the Renotherm® system has been commissioned. Renotherm® also has no influence on the noise level in and around the cement works.

Cement production is energy and resource intensive. With a view to future generations and the environment, we are all required to reconsider the use of energy and natural resources and to use alternatives.

Wherever possible, we therefore use alternative fuels instead of natural resources. We can already cover more than 80% of our thermal energy requirements in this way. In doing so, we not only conserve fossil fuels and natural raw materials, but also close material cycles and offer solutions to social challenges in terms of waste disposal.

The selection of the substitute fuels to be used is closely linked to the material requirements required for the production of the quality product cement and is subject to a strictly regulated testing and approval process.

Due to the special properties (high calorific value, rapid ignition and homogeneous composition) and the manufacturing process developed by Remondis, the use of the alternative fuel Renotherm® enables Holcim to further reduce its need for fossil CO2-intensive fuel coal. The use of Renotherm® thus complements the path taken in Höver more than 25 years ago of replacing fossil fuels with the help of refuse-derived fuels.

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