Use of Alternative Fuels in Cement Manufacture: Analysis of Fuel Characteristics and Feasibility for Use in the Chinese Cement Sector

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Cement manufacturing is an energy-intensive process due to the high temperatures required in thekilns for clinkerization. The use of alternative fuels to replace conventional fuels, in particularcoal, is a widespread practice and can contribute to improving the global warming impact andtotal environmental footprint of the cement industry. This report consists of three sections: anoverview of cement manufacturing technologies, a detailed analysis of alternative fuel types andtheir combustion characteristics, and a preliminary feasibility assessment of using alternativefuels in China. This report provides an overview of the technical and qualitative characteristics ofa wide range of alternative fuels including agricultural and non-agricultural biomass, chemicaland hazardous wastes, petroleum-based wastes, and miscellaneous waste fuels. Each of thesealternatives are described in detail, including a discussion of average substitution rates, energyand water content of the fuels, carbon dioxide emissions factors, and change in carbon emissionsper ton of coal replacement. Utilization of alternative fuels in cement kilns is not withoutpotential environmental impacts; emissions concerns and their effective management arediscussed in general as well as for each alternative fuel type. Finally, the availability of a varietyof alternative fuels is assessed in China along with the opportunities and technical challengesassociated with using alternative fuels in China's cement manufacturing sector.

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