Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for Cement Making
The cost of energy as part of the total production costs in the cement industry is significant, warranting attention for energy efficiency to improve the bottom line. Historically, energy intensity has declined, although more recently energy intensity seems to have stabilized with the gains. Coal and coke are currently the primary fuels for the sector, supplanting the dominance of natural gas in the 1970s. Most recently, there is a slight increase in the use of waste fuels, including tires. Between 1970 and 1999, primary physical energy intensity for cement production dropped 1%/year from 7.3 MBtu/short ton to 5.3 MBtu/short ton. Carbon dioxide intensity due to fuel consumption and raw material calcination dropped 16%, from 609 lb. C/ton of cement (0.31 tC/tonne) to 510 lb. C/ton cement (0.26 tC/tonne).
Despite the historic progress, there is ample room for energy efficiency improvement. The relatively high share of wet-process plants (25% of clinker production in 1999 in the U.S.) suggests the existence of a considerable potential, when compared to other industrialized countries. We examined over 40 energy efficient technologies and measures and estimated energy savings, carbon dioxide savings, investment costs, and operation and maintenance costs for each of the measures. The report describes the measures and experiences of cement plants around the wold with these practices and technologies.
Substantial potential for energy efficiency improvement exists in the cement industry and in individual plants. A portion of this potential will be achieved as part of (natural) modernization and expansion of existing facilities, as well as construction of new plants in particular regions. Still, a relatively large potential for improved energy management practices exists.