The feasibility of alternative fuels to reduce air emissions from South African cement production
The research aims to determine the feasibility of alternative fuel co-processing to reduce kiln stack emissions and focussed on the calculation of possible reductions in these emissions when substituting one tonne of traditional coal fuel with one tonne of a selected alternative fuel at an existing cement production plant located in the North West Province of South Africa. Data was collected from actual continuous air emission monitoring and iso-kinetic sampling reports from the target plant. Other data, including production figures, were also obtained from the target plant. To determine the possible emission reductions existing data from literary sources has been used. This included the chemical composition of some selected alternative fuels. A total of nine different alternative fuels were evaluated on the basis of circulating element (see “List of terms and abbreviations") and heavy metal content, and potential changes in emissions when compared to bituminous coal (the fossil fuel used at the target plant to generate thermal energy). To maintain focus on the research question, as contained in the title, it was decided not to include the availability of alternative fuels, nor anticipated operational issues as criteria during the course of the research. The research was concluded by identifying the top three alternative fuels that could potentially contribute the most in terms of reducing kiln stack emissions The findings made during the course of the research was substantiated by circulating a questionnaire to some selected professionals employed in the South African cement production industry.