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Lehigh Southwest plans to install activated carbon injection system at its Tehachapi plant

World Cement,

Lehigh Southwest Cement Company (LSCC) has announced plans to install an activated carbon injection (ACI) system at its Tehachapi, with the goal of reducing mercury emissions. The company plans to begin construction early in 2013, and bring the equipment online before the end of the year.

Mercury is particularly abundant in the area, which indeed, used to be home to several mercury mines. The company has already taken steps to replace its silica supplies with an external source, due to the fact that traces of mercury can be found in locally available silica, too.

ACI systems have been installed in only two other LSCC plants in the US to date, one of which, the Lehigh Southwest Cupertino Cement Plant, was the first in California to implement such technology. The Cupertino plant has monitored a 90% drop in mercury emissions since the installation, and LSCC expects similar results at Tehachapi once the ACI there is complete.

While recent amendments to the NESHAP compliance date have given US cement producers more breathing room, it seems that Lehigh is being no slouch. Tests last year showed positive results from the burning of converted municipal waste in its kilns, and now the company is waiting on a conditional use permit to burn these alternative fuels to substitute some coal use.

Written by Jack Davidson.

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