Dr.-Ing. Roger Meier, FCT-ACTech, explains why online analysers should form part of every cement plant’s CO2 emissions reduction strategy.
The new buzzwords and phrases worldwide include ‘energy transition’, ‘CO2 reduction’ and ‘sustainability’, and these are all heavily used by the energy intensive industries. In many cases, possible improvements are time consuming and involve huge capital investments. However, there are other alternatives that require much lower investments and can provide CO2 reductions and additional benefits for the producer.
The cement industry is considered to be one of the largest CO2 emitting industries, producing up to 8% of global CO2 emissions. These emissions are mainly caused by the following processes:
- Limestone calcination
- Pyro processing
- Cement milling
All three process steps can be improved in order to reduce CO2 emissions through proper quality and process control. One important factor in monitoring and controlling the process is ensuring representative and accurate data.
Besides the more classic data collection strategy via representative sampling, splitting, and sample preparation followed by laboratory analysis, on-line and at-line analysis methods are gaining more and more attention. The achievable accuracy of these types of online measurement systems are comparable with conventional laboratory systems, and they generate more results with a significantly shorter time between the sampling step and the result. The advances in automation capabilities, robustness and user-friendliness, mean such analysers require almost no human interaction during routine operation and are very suitable for continuous quality and process control. Usually, these analysers are combined with fully automated quality and process control software for an efficient utilisation of the analytical results. This methodology enables cement producers to optimise the crucial process steps and leads directly to reduced CO2 emissions combined with an increased product consistency.
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