Cement industry for long has been considered one of the polluting industries. The very nature of cement manufacture involves crushing and grinding of stones and minerals and burning huge volumes of coal. Back in the era of cement control regime, the cement factory was not more than a smoke emitting, dust laden manufacturing unit. But then things have changed rapidly in the last fifteen years. Today, it is one of the most energy efficient and environment friendly sectors. And India is way ahead when it comes to adapting energy efficient processes even by global standards.
Now the sector talks about zero pollution, zero dust and water positive work processes. Advances in dust control technologies like Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) and fabric filters have allowed the industry to deal with challenges of particulate emissions. At the same time rising fuel costs have pushed the industry to explore energy efficient systems. Alternative fuels are becoming economically attractive options. Leading cement manufacturers have already upgraded their plants to embrace the change.
One of the UltraTech Cement´s plants in the Middle East has tested more than 50 alternative fuels, which are waste products coming from other industries. Over five of them are being actively used, replacing fossil fuels, thus positively impacting the environment.
Innovations in surface mining, electronic packing and dust suppressors, among other measures, have made dust emissions a thing of the past. Our interaction with some of the leading players in the sector clearly indicates that the industry is very well striking the delicate balance between clean environment and sustainable business practices.