Clean and green
Technological improvement is a key pillar in the cement industry´s drive to reduce emission levels and energy consumption. Research and development investments have enabled cement producers worldwide to install modern, energy-efficient technology in new, and to some extent, in existing, cement plants. New technologies have enabled increased use of clinker substitutes and alternative fuels in cement production, leading to significant direct (eg, from limestone decarbonisation and fuel burning) CO2 emission reductions. Technology developments have also enabled significant indirect emission reductions (eg, from electricity use). Older cement plants have to invest heavily for technological up gradation.
Key levers to reduce emission in the Indian cement industry are increased rates of blending leading to a reduction in clinker to cement ratio, increased use of AFR, widespread implementation of WHR, transportation of raw materials through conveyor belt instead of road transport, installation of various VFD/high energy efficient equipment to reduce SPC. Cement manufacturing process from surface mining/quarrying, locating main clinkerisation unit near limestone deposits, transporting clinker through rail, transporting fly ash through pipeline are few measures which will help in achieving and sustaining this targets. The cement industry has shown great enthusiasm for installation of waste heat recovery system but we still have way to go for achieving its full potential.
Today, the focus has gradually shifted towards renewable energy, WHR, and blended cement which also help in reducing CO2 generation. The industry is also working on reduction of SOx and NOx, which are also adverse to the environment. For this purpose, cement manufacturers are setting up different types of calciners like two-stage calciners where NOx generation is reduced. In the next 3-4 years, the cement industry will witness some drastic changes. This roadmap sets out a pathway by which the Indian cement industry can reach its targets to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by 2050, thereby laying the foundation for low-carbon growth in the years beyond.