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7/16/2013 by mdc
As cement producers continue to search for alternative fuels, many types of fuel can be used in the combustion process. The high temperature needed for cement manufacturing makes it an energy-intensive process. The average energy input required to make one ton of cement is 4.7 million Btu the equivalent of about 418 pounds of coal. The U.S. cement industry uses energy equivalent to about 16 million tons of coal every year. According to the Department of Energy, U.S. cement production accounts for 0.33 percent of energy consumption lower production levels than steel production at 1.8 percent and wood production at 0.5 percent. From the PCA publication: U.S. and Canadian Labor-Energy Input Survey 2001, the cement industry has improved energy efficiency by over 33 percent from 1972.

Finding ways to reduce both energy needs and reliance on fossil fuels is a top priority for cement companies. Although coal, petroleum coke, and other fossil fuels have been traditionally burned in cement kilns, many cement companies have turned to energy-rich alternative fuels. Today, many plants meet between 20-70 percent of their energy requirements with alternative fuels. And many of these alternative fuels are consumer wastes or byproducts from other industries. Recovering their energy value in cement making is a safe and proven form of recycling.

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