Anilkumar Mukundan, Head Sales – Cement Product Units, Sub Continental India, FLSmidth, discusses the various products/filters suited for the cement process.
In India, regulatory requirements with respect to environment, particularly air pollution, are changing. How are these changes affecting your business?
The air pollution control norms in India have become very stringent and are in par with some of the emission control norms of the developed countries. With the advancement in technology on Multi-Pollution control, the need to control particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), acidic gasses (SOx, HCl, HF ), heavy metal (Mercury-Hg, Arsenic -As, Cadmium -Cd, Chromium-Cr, Lead-Pb, Antimony-Sb, Cobalt-Co, Zinc-Zn, Copper-Cu, Manganese-Mn, Nickel-Ni and Vanadium-V) and persistent organic pollutants-PCDD (Dioxin), PCDF(Furan) and PCB have risen.
The above pollutants are primarily generated from the burning of municipal waste, hazardous waste as well as the waste from cement plants.
FLSmidth has already developed proven technologies and solutions to counter this challenge and some of these solutions are already in operation in various countries complying to low emission. The advent of stringent norms would give FLSmidth an opportunity to introduce these technologies in India. Therefore, we expect to see a boom in this market segment.
How are these changes inducing you to bring in new technologies and helping you to increase the size of the market?
Paired with the pressing need to control emissions across industries globally and FLSmidth's continuous research on air pollution control, led to the development of newer technologies like GSA® (Gas Suspension Absorbers), CataflexTM, CatamaxTM for multi pollution control and Coromax« MK-IV for handling resistive as well fine dust (PM2.5).
With these technologies, FLSmidth has the unique advantage of offering pollution control solution virtually for industrial application. This will definitely improve our market share.
Cement process is all about high temperatures and air pollution at elevated temperatures is a challenge. How are your products/ filters suited for these challenges, and have you any new offerings in high temperature filtration?
Cement manufacturing is a high temperature process and excess heat is often used for the drying of raw materials. Fabric filter is a preferred technology to meet extremely low emissions and it also handles the future need for multi-pollution control solutions including Respiratory Suspended Particulate matter (RSPM)-PM2.5.
Conventional fabric filter handles flue gas temperature up to 200 Degree Celsius. When temperature exceeds 200 Degree Celsius, we offer glass bags with e-PTFE membrane, which can handle up to 260 Degree Celsius.
When the temperature exceeds 260 Degree Celsius and beyond, the ambient dilution air is added using FAD (Fresh Air Damper). This however, demands designing Bag filters with higher gas volume. FLSmidth has developed high efficiency Heat Exchanger using compact design to control temperature from 500 Degree Celsius to 120 Degree Celsius. Hence a conventional polyester fabric filter could be used. The latest technology to handle high temperature flue gas as well Multi Pollution Control is the use of ceramic candle filter-CataMaxTM designed to operate at a temperature of up to 400 Degree Celsius.
FLSmidth now offers fabric filter technology for complete cement manufacturing process.
Both ESPs and bag filters find applicability in cement plants. Which of these is your strong point and why? Which of these has higher future potential in the cement industry?
Electrostatic precipitator's (ESP) were widely used earlier in controlling pollution from cement plants because of its advantages like reliability against variance in temperature, lower pressure drop as well low maintenance cost, while meeting an emission guarantee of 50 mg/Nm3, but the vagaries in process condition also results in compromise on emission values, due to change in dust resistivity.
The emergence of fabric technology was to handle wide range of flue gas & dust properties as well the need to handle Multi Pollution Control Particulate matters(PM) as well Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM)-PM10 & PM2.5 , Gaseous pollutants viz., Acidic gases (SOx, HCl, HF as well NOx) , Heavy Metal (Mercury-Hg, Arsenic -As, Cadmium -Cd, Chromium-Cr, Lead-Pb, Antimony-Sb, Cobalt-Co, Zinc-Zn, Copper-Cu, Manganese-Mn, Nickel-Ni and Vanadium-V) and Persistent Organic Pollutants-PCDD (Dioxin), PCDF (Furan) and PCB are some for which fabric filter would always remain as the technology of the future.
FLSmidth has a proprietary Gas Suspension Absorber-GSA® to remove acidic constituent from flue gasses. In addition, an integrated bag filter would remove heavy metals as well persistent organic carcinogenic compounds.
FLSmidth's latest CataflexTM technology for Multi-Pollution Control was developed jointly with the world renowned Danish catalyst surface technologist, Haldor Tops°e. The proprietary blend of catalyst embedded on glass fabric coated with e-PTFE, ensures conversion of all gaseous pollutants to harmless compounds like oxygen, nitrogen and water. Therefore, fabric filtration technology would remain the technology of future.
In your APC business, do you focus on turnkey solutions or standalone equipment suppliers? Which of these has higher consumer preference these days?
As a technology leader, FLSmidth has experience and expertise of over eight decades in designing, engineering, manufacturing, execution and commissioning of complete 'flow sheet' of solutions for cement and mining plants. FLSmidth has provided air pollution control solutions to many projects on a turnkey basis.
It is observed that for greenfield projects, client preference is for technology and often expects the bidder to execute the project on EP basis. For brownfield projects, client often prefers a turn-key solution, since some engineering for BOP (Balance- of- Plant) as well as system design may be required. Many customers now a days consider this as a good option as it ensures accountability and overall project ownership.
Do you have any special products for controlling and reducing ambient air pollution in cement plants and what kind of guarantees they are backed by?
Cement Industries generate a lot of pollutant and dust particles contributing to the ambient air pollution. Various technologies are available to abate ambient air dust viz., water fogging as well chemical fogging at mine mouth as well on road. FLSmidth offers solution that covers dust generation points by shrouding all conveying system and provides suction hood with skirting at dust transfer point, thus meeting stack emission only.
Between new projects and retrofitting, which is looking more positive today?
India has an installed cement manufacturing capacity of nearly 455 million tonnes (MT) and is the second largest cement producer in the world. India has over 210 large cement plants and majority of them are aging plants that have already drawn out major plan for expansion.
With the emergence of stringent emission, the existing units need to be upgraded and FLSmidth has already started offering solution for some of the plants.
As newer projects take longer time to get approvals and considering the difficulties in acquiring land, etc., upgradation is becoming the primary focus for future.
Considering these facts FLSmidth is coming up with various new technologies to remove acidic constituents as well heavy metals from flue gas stream.
What is your view on the cement industry growth prospects over 2-3 years? What component of your APC business caters to cement industry?
The Government of India is strongly focused on infrastructure development to boost economic growth and is aiming for over 100 smart cities thus cement production capacity is estimated to touch 550 MT by 2020.
FLSmidth offers complete flow sheet of technologies on Air Pollution control and have future-ready Multi-Pollution control technologies to address the need.
FLSmidth has over 60 per cent of APC business catering to cement industries and balance spread over power, metallurgical, carbon black, petrochemical and chemical industries.