In India, the use of alternative fuel is at a very nascent stage
Ganesh W Jirkuntwar, Senior Executive Director & National Manufacturing Head, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, analyses the effects of raw materials on emission and efforts taken by his company to conserve the environment.
Tell us about the efforts taken by your organisation to better the environment in and around the manufacturing unit.
Our company has taken a number of efforts to better the environment in order to maximise the proportion of blended cement in our product basket, promote the usage of alternative supplementary cementitious materials recommended by IS for cement and increase the usage of alternative fuels.
We have also installed the appropriate systems to co-process wastes judiciously and follow a pre-processing system for alternative fuels. We have implemented a waste heat recovery system and are now able to tap into solar energy.
How does the use of environmentally friendly fuels or raw materials impact the profitability of the organisation?
Dalmia Bharat Limited follows the business philosophy of ‘Clean & Green is Profitable and Sustainable.’ By using environmentally friendly fuel and raw materials, we have managed to create an impact on our triple bottom line: social, environmental as well as financial performance. A proper strategy for selection and adopting environment-friendly initiatives that act as fuel and raw materials is expected to significantly boost the organisation’s profitability.
Large volumes of legacy municipal waste are available at various municipal dump sites, that can be converted to Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and can be used by Indian cement Industries. Cement industries are currently facing a tough time due to the steep rise in fuel prices. The usage of RDF and other alternative fuels will help the cement industry in optimising its fuel cost.
Tell us about the types of blended cement and their composition manufactured by your organisation. How does the strength of blended cement differ from OPC?
At Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, we manufacture PPC, PCC and PSC as blended cements. The composition of blended cements is decided strictly in accordance with BIS norms.
The overall strength of blended cement is comparable with OPC 43 Grade. However, Indian Specification (IS) recommends that blended cement should meet the strength Norms of OPC 33 Grade.
What are the key supplementary materials used to manufacture blended cement?
The key supplementary materials used to manufacture blended cement are pulverised fuel ash, known as flyash, and granulated slag.
Tell us about the impact blended cement creates on the environment.
Blended cement has higher durability and better resistance towards the aggressive environment of chloride and sulphate. Additionally, less clinker is being consumed to produce the same volume of cement, resulting in raw materials savings, energy savings (thermal and electrical), reduced CO2 emission and waste utilisation.
How does the use of alternative fuels impact the productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing process?
The use of alternative fuels leads to a marginal increase in overall heat consumption. In case a preheater fan and other equipment are being used at their full capacity, usage of alternative fuels may result in a marginal reduction of clinker throughput.
What role does technology play in creating blends that help curb emissions and make the environment better?
Technology helps reduce CO2 emission as a result of low clinker consumption in blended cement compared to non-blended cement.
What are the major challenges your organisation is facing to curb the emission rate?
Although cement manufacturing is an energy-intensive process, during clinker manufacturing, the emission of process CO2 is inevitable. The only way to curb the emission significantly as of now helps replace fossil fuels with alternative fuels.
The major challenges in increasing the usage of alternative fuels include adopting RDF which is the only alternative fuel and is available in large volumes. However, the quality of RDF being supplied in India is very poor and inconsistent. Additionally, high ash content and moisture in RDF restrict the higher usage of RDF.
In India, the use of alternative fuel is at a very nascent stage and cement players need to invest in R&D on understanding its impact on cement and corrective actions
How do you foresee the future of emissions created by the cement industry?
The cement industry is putting in unrelenting efforts to reduce the Cement Clinker Ratio (CC Ratio), higher usage of alternative fuels and increased the usage of renewable energy. This will reflect in their carbon footprint figure in the next few years. We expect that, in a few years, newer technological adoption such as carbon capture, green hydrogen usage, rotodynamic heater etc. will also decide the future of emissions by cement industries.
Cement industry sees record growth amid booming construction demand
Glimpses from the 13th Cement Expo in Hyderabad.
“There’s no waste in India; everything is wealth,” was the thought-provoking idea that came from Dr Mohapatra, DG, NCCBM, as he shared his views on ‘Circular Economy and Sustainability’ at the recently concluded 8th Indian Cement Review Conference. The questions he raised and the ideas he presented were enriched with his decades of experience of working on research, development and analysis of alternative raw materials and renewable fuel for the cement industry. He highlighted the struggles in manufacturing blended cement and the opportunities that are available for its use. Finally, he suggested ways to ensure that each manufacturing plant falls within the gamut of a circular economy.
On his part Dr Sriharsha Reddy, Director, IMT Hyderabad, elaborating on ‘ESG – Green Financing: A new opportunity for the cement industry’, brought to light a number of important issues pertaining to fund procurement through traditional methods and the challenges therein.
Highlighting his views on carbon capture and its benefits for the cement manufacturers, Saurabh Palsania, Executive Director and Group Commercial Head, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), underscored the need to implement innovative technology and most importantly a proper strategy, in order to revolutionise the efforts towards net zero emissions. “Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is an investment-intensive process that also requires a commitment of time and labour. Keeping all these factors in mind, cement companies need to chart out an effective strategy to incorporate CCUS into their eco systems, ensure purity of the captured carbon and channel it towards predetermined activities for its optimum utility,” he said.
Pratap Padode, Founder & President, FIRST Construction Council, summarised the challenges faced by the Indian cement industry as well as the growth opportunities it presented for manufacturers in terms of technological innovation and capacity building. He supported his opinions with statistical findings and his in-depth knowledge about the Indian cement and construction industries.
Several discussions from the event highlighted several critical aspects of the cement industry.
ESG – Green Financing: A new opportunity for the cement industry
The cement industry has made progress in reducing energy consumption and power usage, but the challenge now lies in reducing carbon emissions. With breakthrough carbon capture technologies and solar calcination of limestone, the industry can work towards achieving zero CO2 emissions. However, the economic value of carbon capture needs to be explored, with government support through carbon labelling, trading, and green funds. Other solutions such as non-contact grinding and heat recovery from kilns can also be explored to bring emissions to zero. The industry can achieve sustainability and low carbon footprint with digital transformation and well-planned processes. To finance green initiatives, traditional lending institutions such as banks are now considering the economic value of eco-friendly practices. However, long-term loans remain a challenge, and other lending institutions such as venture capitalists and government grants need to be explored.
Demystifying digitalisation and maximising the value chain impact
Digitalisation is crucial in optimising all stages of cement production. Industry 4.0 has provided tools that help determine the desired product quality, which is vital in meeting customer demands. As the importance of ESG continues to grow, digitalisation can help improve processes and reduce environmental impact. Transparency is also key, and a cloud-based platform can facilitate this. Automation at the plant level is vital for both efficiency and safety. However, it is important to remember that profitability is also essential for sustainability. Therefore, implementing digital tools and automation must be done with a focus on achieving profitability without compromising on sustainability.
Innovative supply chain strategies in the cement industry
Innovative supply chain strategies are crucial for the cement industry to remain competitive, with logistics and transportation being at the forefront. Industry experts discussed that the key to cost efficiency lies in innovation in first and last mile connectivity. However, logistics should not be viewed as merely a commercial function, but rather as a technology function. By investing in technology, cement manufacturers can drive the supply chain in a much better way, enabling them to evaluate processes from a revenue angle rather than just cost.
Industry experts also agreed that logistics is the only differentiator a cement company can have today, rather than cost or quality. As such, it is essential for cement manufacturers to explore non-renewable sources of energy to address the energy demand for distribution. Automation is also considered a key element for future logistics solutions. With these innovative strategies in place, the cement industry can increase efficiency and sustainability, which in turn can positively impact the bottom line.
On his part, Gaurav Gautam, Head of Sales, Beumer Group, highlighted the innovations in material handling systems that the is undertaking in order to make the movement of finished products smoother along the supply chain. The company specialises in tailor-made intralogistics solutions that help maximise productivity of cement companies.
Truly, the 8th Indian Cement Review Conference brought the industry together in a informative discussion on thought-provoking ideas and suggestions. The presentation weremade by Jayesh Patil, Assistant Manager, Flow Aids, Martin Engineering; Nischal Basavaraj, Regional Head – South, Liugong India; Sasi M Kumar, Business Development Manager – Cement, ExxonMobil; and S Chakravarti, Managing Director, Ecodea Projects and Control.
The conference was held alongside the 13th Cement Expo and Indian Cement Review Awards 2023. Partners supporting the event included: Presenting Partner: ExxonMobil Lubricants; Gold Sponsor: JK Cement and PhillipCapital India; Silver Sponsor: LiuGong India; Associate Sponsor: Humboldt Wedag India; Presentation Partners: Martin Engineering Company India, Beumer India, and Ecodea Projects & Control; Logo Sponsor: Stotz Gears; and Exhibiting Partners: Toshniwal Industries; TIDC (Murugappa Group), and Ringfeder Power Transmission India.
Solutions to protect concrete against monsoon
Concrete patching compounds for repairing concrete window ledges.
As the monsoon season rapidly approaches in India, the urgency to address potential damage to the commonly used building material – concrete –intensifies. Weathering and loading can cause cracks and deterioration, impacting both the structure’s integrity and aesthetics and leading to water penetration and reinforcement corrosion. To ensure durability and prevent further damage, it is essential to promptly repair any concrete cracks.
Several structures face a common problem during monsoon season – holes created by water penetration or impact in concrete window sills. These not only affect the window’s appearance and functionality but also pose a safety hazard. Fortunately, various concrete repair compounds are available in India to fill such holes and restore the window sill. Don’t wait until it’s too late –CW researches some of the concrete repair compounds that could help protect concrete structures from monsoon damage:
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Heidelberg Materials secures SBTi validation
The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has validated Heidelberg Materials’ new 2030 CO2 reduction targets. The targets have a base year of 2020 and conform to a 1.5°C climate change framework. Per tonne of cementitious material, the producer is now committed to reducing its Scope 1 CO2 emissions by 24 per cent, its Scope 2 CO2 emissions by 65 per cent and its Scope 3 emissions by 25 per cent.
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