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.

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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