An Overview of Cement production: How “green” and sustainable is the industry?

Johannes H. Potgieter


Problem statement: This paper tries to answer the question: Is cement production still a sustainable industry in the 21st century? Approach: It starts off by considering the current status quo and potential alternatives for the production process, right from the raw meal composition stage through to the final application of cement in concrete. Results: In the process alternative raw meal components and energy sources are reviewed in detail. The changes that could and should be made to cement plants and equipment to produce cement more sustainably, as well as different types of other binders that can be used for construction, are discussed. The suitability of the cement production process to destroy wastes and utilize byproducts from other industrial processes, are highlighted and analysed. Alternative methods and equipment to manufacture cement, are summarized and ways to get rid off or convert the released carbon dioxide from the cement manufacturing, are discussed. Conclusions: In the final instance the conclusion is reached that the cement industry, despite proven new technology, equipment and concepts, can do more to respond fast enough and to a sufficient extent to improve the sustainability of their operations substantially and to an acceptable level for the 21st century.

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Copyright (c) 2012 Johannes H. Potgieter

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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