Indian cement industry falls back on pyro-processing to combat pollution
The cement industry today faces a challenge on emission norms, which have steadily been becoming stricter in India and across the world. Cement manufacturing companies are exploring various options - like pyro-processing - to help make their production process cleaner.
In fact, in the entire process of cement manufacture, pyro-processing is the most critical process. It not only entails the conversion of heat into chemical energy, but the efficiency of the process also decides the bottom-line of a plant.
Pyro-processing is a reaction in which materials are subjected to high temperatures (typically over 800 °C) in order to bring about a chemical or physical change. It includes processes like calcination, sintering, roasting, etc.
Over the past few years, the Indian cement industry has been exploring various technological advances, on the backdrop of the changes which have been announced by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change in the recent past regarding emissions from cement plants. The changes announced are in the larger interest of protecting the environment and to align the regulations with that of the developed world, and Indian cement manufacturers have been cleaning up their pyro-processing processes.
The moot question now is how the industry will technologically face the challenge to curb noxious emissions. These emissions are in the form of particulate matters, CO2, SOx, NOx and toxic elements containing mercury, other heavy metals and organic pollutants. Almost all chemical pollutants are generated in the pyro section. So to curb pollution from cement manufacturing plants, the obvious option would be to concentrate on the pyro process - as Indian and global manufacturers are doing precisely the same thing.