Sustainable development with reduced carbon footprint

Sustainable development with reduced carbon footprint

The energy management, conservation and environmental aspects have been a key area in the cement and other core industries
P K Ghosh, Chairman, Ercom
, spells out the measures required to be taken to reduce the carbon foot print in cement industry.
The Indian economy is growing at a relatively steady rate in spite of global slowdown and the demand for energy has also grown at a faster pace than what was anticipated a decade ago.
To monitor the growing demand of energy with due care of the environmental aspects, the Energy Conservation Act 2001 was introduced to control the demand side management as well as ensuring the energy efficiency levels on the consumption side The Act became effective from March 2002 and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was given the responsibility of the effective coordination and giving directions for coordination at the Centre and state level for various industries, with directives and strategies within the overall frame work of Energy Conservation Act
This is a gigantic task and increased use of our existing fuel reserves and imports of hydrocarbon products in various forms, to meet our energy supply level, creates an adverse affect on the environment during energy production and consumption The whole aspect has a vulnerable effect to the overall economy, if not done in a proper and planned manner.
In this direction especially, Indian cement industry is taking a lead to evolve high technological concepts relating to energy management and conservation with special concerns on quality and environment management This has led to the various developments of alternative fuel sources, as well as technology up gradation, with the optimization of energy conservation, by adopting simple improvement methods at all levels, with the special optimization efforts on the consumption side.
We all are aware about climate change and the national action plan suggested by the prime minister on 30th June, 2008, which should reduce the adverse impact of climate change and vulnerability on our system, with the projected high level of growth.
India had announced on its own a reduction of CO2 emission by 20 per cent in the next 15 years, considering the year 2005 as our base line emission levels and policy measures including quality characteristic of various fuels were being made mandatory In this direction, the government has already adopted a monitoring policy needed to maintain the process on controls as per KYOTO Protocol Even during 2010 summit, our Ministry for Environment and Forest had made a statement to this effect.
The Ministry of Power and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) are responsible for the implementation of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) The BEE and other related agencies are monitoring the implementation of NMEEE and PAT (Perform, Achieve and Trade) PAT is a market based mechanism to make efficiency improvements in energy intensive large industries as well as making facilities more cost-effective by providing Energy Saving Certificates (ESCerts) that can be traded.
The Ministry of Power had identified nine industrial sectors that will be under the PAT scheme, namely thermal power plant, fertilizer, cement, pulp and paper, textile, chlor-alkali, iron and steel, aluminum and railways.
The PAT scheme for cement Industry includes the typical energy distribution process in the cement plant boundary and the SEC is then worked out as follows:
  • The plant will have a total input energy.
  • The plant may have captive power plant for self consumption and consuming coal with certain GCV.
  • Plant may be receiving power from Grid.
  • Coal used for clinker production and raw material - drying.
  • HFO / other fuel used for kiln light up and emergency drive.
  • Total output at plant box / boundary converted into equivalent cement.
  • Specific energy consumption worked out based on total cement production basis.
PAT scheme thus introduced will definitely bring down the carbon footprint and there would be saving of fuel and energy level but for our targeted growth, more power plant / additional energy sources would be needed, which can be partially met from renewable energy sources as well as waste heat recovery sources, under the PAT scheme
The specific energy consumption data for last three years were to be submitted by all cement companies last year (March 2011) Based on the same, every cement company will have to optimize / reduce the specific energy consumption, from its base figure to a targeted figure in the next three years (2013-14) If any company is achieving SEC - saving more than the targeted figure, then they would be entitled for ESCerts, which eventually can be traded through an agency by following the approved modus operandi In case any company fails to reach the given target, then the company will have to comply by purchasing the ESCerts and continue to work to achieve the set targets.
To achieve the target levels, first task in hand should be to improve the energy efficiency levels and this basically comes from the productivity related approach and energy saving concepts, which aims at efficient O&M and overall economies of scale.
To facilitate the implementation of PAT scheme for the consumers, the Energy Conservation Act, was modified / amended suitably in 2010 (EC Amendment Act) The designated consumers are likely to get the ESCert from the Central government, including purchase of the Certificate to comply with the prescribed norms and standards The Central government may fix in consultation with BEE/NMEE the value of per MT of pozzolanic material including slag for different blending applications, as per the prescribed standards This will reduce the specific energy consumption per tonne considerably.
The mission and objective to ensure a sustainable growth will basically be from the 3-4 factors namely the environment, plant efficiency levels, energy conservation and equity etc., to be achieved against the specific targets for mandatory energy saving.
The ordinary portland cement which does not include any additive as such except 3-4 per cent of gypsum, consumes the maximum energy per tonne and manufacture of blended cement reduces the specific power consumption per tonne and hence the use of green technologies as well as nanotechnologies to bring down carbon foot-print can be derived from the followings:
  • Renewable / solar energy
  • Waste heat recovery system (WHR)
  • Wind mills,
  • Green cement and related products made out of ground slag and class F&C flyash with certain additives and activators, where direct use of clinker / cement can be avoided and this can reduce the carbon foot print considerably.
The government should encourage nano/green technologies more and more in the best interest of mineral conservation, which can increase the utilization of fly ash/slag/alternate fuels/renewable energies etc., which would reduce the ultimate emission levels as well as carbon foot print
To implement this, there are several measures which need to be considered in a planned manner to make the community life also sustainable along with inclusive and sustainable growth In this direction, biomass fuels, agro-wastes, etc are being used in a big way as alternative fuel to reduce carbon foot print.
Similarly, by using blended cement, specially with green technologies/nano-technologies involved, the durability and strength of concrete roads with their distinct advantages over bitumen surfaces, should definitely be tried for the rural roads/high ways and test cases can be allowed under strict concrete specifications and close monitoring, to establish it in the next 1 or 2 years, due to the tremendous scope for enhancing the durability and strength through the concretization.
The green technologies involved in such applications, can be tested and cleared as per the local BIS standards and may be considered under category of masonry cement / composite cement, for the low cost housing, low intensity structures, lining of canals / river side embedment, concrete bricks, tiles, pavements, fly ash aggregates, light weight aggregates etc., by this not only carbon foot prints can be controlled and reduced, but the environment and our mineable reserves of various useful rare minerals, can also be preserved for a long time, for our inclusive and sustainable growth.

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