Tyres help cement firm cut emissions

A major cement producer says it has reduced nitrogen oxide emissions from one of its plants by 40% after using chipped tyres as a substitute fuel.

Up to six tonnes of shredded tyres an hour are burnt at the plant to power cement kilns

Up to six tonnes of shredded tyres an hour are burnt at the plant to power cement kilns

CEMEX UK said its most recent trial of the fuel at its plant in Rugby met and exceeded a number of "critical success factors" agreed with the industry regulator, the Environment Agency.

A draft report published for public consultation said increasing the use of tyres from three to six tonnes per hour improved its Environmental Index by 33% and reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 26%.

Since the start of tyre use as a fuel for the cement kilns at the Rugby plant, the company's emissions of nitrogen oxides have fallen by about 40% and the use of fossil duels has dropped 24%.

Bosses said the trial offers one solution to the problem of the 40m tyres a year that are scrapped in the UK.

CEMEX UK's sustainability director Andy Spencer told edie: "We are building on the significant progress we made last year, when we increased alternative fuels use by 52%, by increasing the substitution rates. This has led to significant environmental improvements."

He added: "While CEMEX UK is making good progress in terms of reducing emissions and the carbon footprint associated with cement-making, the aim is for the company to increase the use of alternative fuels as much as possible, in order to maximise environmental performance."

CEMEX was originally granted a permit by the Environment Agency to use chipped tyres at a rate of three tonnes per hour in February 2007, and they have been used continuously since then.

It is part of a wide alternative fuels programme in Rugby and other CEMEX plants in a bid to improve the company's environmental performance.

Early indications are that a trial of Climafuel, which is derived from household residual waste and commercial waste, is producing similar results to the tyres.

Kate Martin



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