Automation can provide real-time monitoring of emissions
Anil Gupta, Technical Head, JK Cement Works, Nimbahera, discusses the adverse effects of dust emissions on human health and the environment and how use of advanced filtration systems, automation and other technology solutions can help reduce it.
What are the key areas where dust emission is prominent in cement manufacturing?
Cement manufacturing unit consists of various sections such as mining, crusher, raw mill, kiln, coal mill, cement mill, packing plant, etc. However, the key areas where dust emission is highly prominent are dump hoppers of limestone and additive crusher, raw material storage yards, feeding circuits of clinker and cement raw material, packing and loading area, raw mill bag house, cooler ESP, coal transport and grinding circuit, cement mills bag house and CPP stack.
What are the measures taken to control the dust emissions at a cement plant?
We have two types of dust emissions:
- Stack or vent duct: From process operation and have fixed point of release.
- Fugitive dust: Dust that is generated or emitted from open air operations or at material transport point (emissions that do not pass through as stack or vent).
To control both the types of dust emissions in a cement plant, following measures are taken:
- Installation of de-dusting bag filter.
- Installation of bag house and electro static precipitator.
- Installation of water spray system in yard area.
- Enclosure should be provided for all unloading operations, except wet materials like gypsum.
- The pathways in the coal yard for vehicle movement should be paved.
- Accumulated dust shall be removed / swept regularly and water the area after sweeping.
- Air borne fines extracted from the clinker cooler shall be separated and sent to the last possible destination directly, if possible.
Tell us about governmental regulations and compliance for dust emissions.
For achieving effective prevention and control of potential fugitive emission sources in cement manufacturing plants, specific requirements along with guidelines have been evolved by the central government. For the Indian cement industry, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change has notified the norms for reduction of dust emission from cement plants, which includes particulate matter, SOx and NOx. The notification clearly defines the limits for above mentioned emissions, particulate matter should be < 30 milligram, SOx should be
< 100 milligram, NOx should be < 1000, 800, 600 milligrams. It depends on the age of the plant or we can say that on the commissioning date of the plant.
Some relaxation is there in the SOx limit. It should be 700 and 1000 milligram with more pyretic sulphur presence in limestone deposit. In cases where SPM concentrations exceed the prescribed limit, necessary corrective measures in terms of improving the controls shall be taken and action taken records of improvements carried out be maintained.
Tell us about the role of dust collectors in cement production.
A dust collector is a system used to enhance the quality of air released from industrial processes by collecting dust and other impurities from air or gas. It is designed to handle high-volume dust loads. A dust collector system consists of a blower, dust filter, a filter-cleaning system, and a dust receptacle. It is distinguished from air purifiers, which use disposable filters to remove dust. It may be of single unit construction, or a collection of devices used to separate particulate matter from the process air. It is also used as an air pollution control device to maintain or improve air quality.
A dust collector also helps to increase productivity as when dirt, dust and debris collect on equipment, it can make its way inside, interfering with the mechanics of the equipment. This can lead to slower machines and broken equipment. Compromised machinery constantly needs attention and repairs. Dust collectors remove this risk, allowing your machinery to work at optimal performance.
Where is the collected dust discarded?
The environmental concerns related to cement production, emission and disposal of dust is becoming progressively significant. Cement kiln dust (CKD) is fine-grained, particulate material chiefly composed of oxidised, anhydrous, micron-sized particles collected from electrostatic precipitators during the high temperature production of clinker. CKD so generated is partly reused in cement plant. No dust is discarded in the environment except stack dust. However, Stack emitted dust is discarded in an environment which is under the limit of governmental norms.
What is the impact of dust emission on the environment in and around?
In the past, cement dust spread out over large areas due to wind and rain and accumulated over the soil and plants. It has the potential to affect animal and human health adversely. Dust from cement factories adversely affects the forest ecosystem, soil enzymes, fungi and bacteria population within the vicinity of cement factories. Furthermore, it was shown that plant height, phytomass, net primary productivity, chlorophyll content, metabolites and yield were reduced in response to cement dust in the polluted areas.
After the 1990s, the cement industry did a lot of investment for dust control. Several modifications have also been carried out in the existing system to make the system more efficient. This can be achieved through the use of advanced filtration systems, alternative fuels, automation and other technology solutions. It is also important to monitor and report emissions to regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. No significant impact has been observed in and around the cement plant.
Can dust emission be qualified as a health hazard at a cement plant?
Yes, dust emission can be qualified as a health hazard at a cement plant. Inhalation of cement dust can cause a range of respiratory problems, including bronchitis, asthma and silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling crystalline silica dust. Prolonged exposure to high levels of cement dust can also increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
To minimise the health risks associated with dust emissions, cement plants are continuously implementing measures to reduce the amount of dust generated during the manufacturing process. This is achieved through the use of advanced filtration systems, automation, and other technology solutions. It is also important to provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers and to ensure that they receive adequate training on the health risks associated with working in a cement plant.
How can automation and technology help in reduction of dust emissions?
Automation and technology are contributing in reduction of dust emissions in following ways:
- Real-time monitoring and control: Automation can provide real-time monitoring of emissions, which can help to identify and address potential issues before they become major problems. This can be achieved through the use of sensors and advanced data analytics.
- Optimised process control: Advanced process control technologies can optimise the cement manufacturing process and minimise dust emissions. This technology can help operators monitor and control the process in real-time, ensuring that emissions are kept to a minimum.
- Advanced filtration and scrubbing systems: Technology can improve the efficiency of filtration and scrubbing systems, such as bag filters and electrostatic precipitators. These systems can remove particulate matter and other pollutants from the air, reducing dust emission.
- Use of drones for inspection: Drones can be used to inspect hard-to-reach areas in the plant, such as the top of the kiln or preheater tower, without risking the safety of personnel. This can help to identify areas where dust emissions are high, and take corrective actions.
- Overall, automation and technology can help reduce dust emissions in cement plants by providing real-time monitoring and control, optimising process control, improving filtration and scrubbing systems and using drones for inspection.
Tell us about newer innovations that help reduce the dust missions and control it?
The cement industry has been under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact, especially concerning the emission of dust and pollutants. Here are some of the newer innovations that the cement industry is adapting to reduce dust emissions and control them:
- Use of Low-NOx Burners: The use of low-NOx burners in cement kilns reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are one of the major contributors to air pollution. These burners help in reducing the temperature inside the kiln, which in turn reduces the formation of NOx.
- Installation of Bag Filters: Bag filters are used to capture particulate matter emitted during the cement manufacturing process. These filters are highly efficient and can capture up to 99 per cent of the particulate matter emitted from the kiln. This reduces the emission of dust and improves the air quality around the cement plant.
- Use of Alternative Fuels: Cement manufacturers are increasingly using alternative fuels, such as waste materials, biomass, and municipal solid waste, to power their kilns. These fuels emit less carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants than traditional fossil fuels.
- Automation of Process Control: Advanced process control technologies can optimise the cement manufacturing process and minimise dust emissions. This technology can help operators monitor and control the process in real-time, ensuring that emissions are kept to a minimum.
- Introduction of Green Cement: Green cement is a new type of cement that is produced using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. It can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to traditional cement. Green cement can be produced using waste materials such as fly ash and slag, and can also be made using renewable energy sources.
Overall, the cement industry is making significant strides in reducing its environmental impact, particularly concerning dust emissions. These innovations are helping to improve the sustainability of the industry and protect the health of nearby communities.
ACC launches ‘Bagcrete’, a pre-blended concrete solution
The company’s ongoing innovation process is consistent with ACC Bagcrete
ACC, the cement and building material company of Adani Cement and part of the Adani Group, has been a pioneer in building innovative concrete solutions. The company’s ongoing innovation process is consistent with ACC Bagcrete, a proportional balance of premium components produced to generate high-quality concrete mix.
The company has added a new product dimension to the building industry with ACC Bagcrete, a hassle-free, smart, and user-friendly concrete solution for all types of construction demands. A stronger, more durable final product is produced as a result of the pre-blended components being meticulously measured to ensure uniform quality.
The product was created to offer the best compressive strength (10 MPa to 80 MPa), exceptional workability retention, and unmatched ease of placement, a trifecta of attributes that set it apart from competing products. In contrast to traditional concrete, which necessitates the mixing of various components on-site, it is a pre-blended mixture of cement, sand, and aggregates. For building projects that call for a quick and effective application method, ACC Bagcrete is ideal.
There are two functional variants of the versatile building material ACC Bagcrete: dry-mix and wet-mix. The dry-mix is pre-blended concrete that may be used right away with just the addition of water. wet-mix is pre-mixed, immediately usable concrete that doesn’t require any additional mixing before use. This can be especially helpful in places with scarce water supplies or where conventional concrete mixing techniques are impractical. Both kinds of ACC Bagcrete are of exceptional quality and effectiveness. This unique concrete solution is ideal for remote job sites and maintenance projects since it can be easily transported in the form of bags, enhancing productivity.
Ajay Kapur, CEO, Cement Business, said “We are dedicated to pursuing product innovations and offering the finest products and services to our customers. We have always strived to create products of the highest calibre in order to meet the varied needs of our customers and assist them in constructing robust structures. ACC Bagcrete is a unique product that not only meets but also exceeds the demands of our customers.”
The prestigious university IIT Bombay has recently reaped significant benefits of using ACC Bagcrete for a special need in its R&D Lab of Civil Engineering Department. The M80 Grade ACC Bagcreate has also been used in various NHPC projects in spillway repair. ACC Bagcrete is a unique solution that guarantees minimal waste, accelerates construction, and improves longevity with constant quality. In conclusion, dry-mix concrete is a versatile and convenient option for construction projects of all types.
Ambuja Cements’ loyalty programme wins top award
Has been awarded as the ‘Most Innovative Loyalty Programme of the Year’
Ambuja Cements, the cement and building materials company of Adani Cement and part of Adani Group, has been awarded the ‘Most Innovative Loyalty Programme of the Year’ at the Customer Fest Leadership Awards 2023 for its Contractor Loyalty Programme – ‘Ambuja Abhimaan’. This award acknowledges the Company’s exceptional efforts in creating and maintaining an outstanding loyalty programme that has helped build strong relationships with its contractor partners.
The evaluation of nominations was conducted by an eminent jury panel of experts, and Ambuja’s innovative and transformational initiatives such as skill upgradation programmes, family engagement and social welfare, talent hunt contests, and business aid to contractors were highlighted. These initiatives differentiated Ambuja from competitors and helped win the award under the Customer Loyalty – Organisational category. The event featured more than 50+ renowned brands across various industries.
Ajay Kapur, CEO, Cement Business, said, “Ambuja has always been synonymous with strength, and we are honoured to be recognised for our strong commitment and efforts that go beyond cement. This award is a testament to our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to our partners and customers. We thank the jury panel and all the participants for acknowledging our efforts towards customer centricity and innovation.”
Ambuja Abhimaan, a differentiated long-term loyalty programme has achieved many milestones, including recognition as one of the best mobile loyalty programmes, engaging and benefiting 1.2 lakh+ key contractors.
Ambuja places order for capacity expansion of 14 MT cement
This will enable the production of blended green cement of 14 MT
Ambuja Cements, the cement and building material company of the diversified Adani Group, placed orders to expand clinker capacity by 8 million tonne at Bhatapara and Maratha units on the highest ESG standards with 42 MW of WHRS, provision to utilise 50% AFR and provision to operate on green power.
The capacity expansion projects will enable the production of blended green cement of 14 million tonne, post all requisite approvals. These projects will generate substantial value for the existing business and enable more employment and growth opportunities in the States, beneficial for all stakeholders.
These projects are expected to be commissioned in 24 months and the capex will be funded from internal accruals.
Ajay Kapur, CEO, Cement Business, said, “These brownfield expansion projects are part of our strategy to double our production capacity over the next five years from the current capacity of 67.5 MTPA. Our ongoing investments in capacity expansion and sustainability will enable us to achieve our long-term objectives, as we remain committed to delivering sustainable growth and value to our stakeholders.”
The Company remains committed to achieving significant size, scale, and market leadership with a strong emphasis on margin expansion and world-class ESG standards.