Utilising Wastes in Cement Plants
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued draft guidelines, which mention that hazardous, municipal and agricultural waste should be recycled and used as fuel in cement plants. The draft 'Guidelines for Pre-processing and Co-processing of Hazardous and Other Wastes in Cement Plants' as per Hazardous and Other Waste (Management and Transboundary Movement Rules) 2016 were opened to the public last month for comments.
Hazardous Waste Rules, 2016, as Ulhas Parlikar, Dy Director, Geocycle, says, 'The earlier rules were different; in fact, co-processing was not a part of the rules at all. It was only recognised as 'use of hazardous waste' under rule 11.' .
He adds that it is after eight years of experience of co-processing in the country that the rules have been modified: 'It suggests that all materials, which are suitable for co-processing should be permitted for co-processing without any trial.' While earlier conditions included the need for a trial, CPCB's experience derived from about 90-odd conducted trials concluded that these don't add much value. .
Additionally, Parlikar says positively, 'CPCB has introduced these guidelines to facilitate state government authorities; basically, for the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) to understand and interpret the rules accurately and grant necessary authorisation or undertake co-processing in a proper manner.'.
This move would also benefit cement companies. As Parlikar shares, 'First, companies will be able to dispose waste, which is not recyclable. Also, importantly, since waste will be processed and used, utilisation of natural resources - be it raw material or fuel - will reduce. Utilisation of waste involves capital investment and some long-term decisions on the process side. A kiln in cement manufacturing provides the most cost-effective and sustainable option for processing of waste. The experience of developed countries is to our advantage since many of the cement players who have the necessary technology of