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Cementos Argos increases waste co-processing capacity in Colombia

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Argos, cement company of Grupo Argos, has ratified its commitment to sustainability with the use of alternative fuels obtained from waste. In 2018, the company used more than 75 000 t of waste as alternative fuel, which is equivalent to the waste generated by a city of 200 000 inhabitants.

With the use of an alternative fuel management system at its cement plant in Cartagena, the company increased the co-processing capacity of Regional Colombia by 200%.

In Colombia, Cementos Argos suppliers are responsible for the collection and preparation of used tyres and other wastes, which are then taken to the Rioclaro and Cartagena plants, in order that they can be used as alternative fuels in the production process. Given the high temperatures for the manufacture of cement, the chemical properties of the process, and the filtration systems of the cement kilns, co-processing is an environmentally sustainable and complementary option for waste disposal that does not affect the quality of the product.

Since the beginning of the implementation of the sustainable disposal alternative, the company has co-processed more than 1.5 million tyres and has the capacity to introduce up to 65 000 tpy in its process. This translates to about 4.5 million tyres. With this and with the help of suppliers that can prepare the waste, it could contribute to more than 40% of the solution of this problem.

Why is the cement kiln a sustainable solution?

The complete production process carried out in the kilns has special characteristics that ensure the complete destruction of the toxic components and the use of their energy. In addition, the equipment installed for this purpose has excellent filtering and gas cleaning systems that ensure that the disposal of the tyres or waste is carried out in a safe, controlled, and clean manner. This is contrary to what happens when they are burned in the open. Co-processing is recognised as a sustainable alternative by the Ministry of Environment, Housing, and Territorial Development in resolution 909 of 2008.

“At Argos, we bet on collaborative initiatives that leverage sustainable solutions that not only add value to the business, but also to the planet,” said Tomás Restrepo, Vice President of Regional Colombia. “Through the use of waste in our production processes, we contribute to the circular economy and manage to reduce the environmental impacts generated by the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources, avoiding inadequate disposal and decreasing net CO2 emissions.”

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US cement news Cement news 2018