Why is Alternative Fuel Used in Cement Kilns?
Cement kilns recover energy from alternative fuels because the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act encouraged the recycling for energy recovery of high Btu waste as far back as 1976. Today, the US still has a waste problem and cement manufacturers continue to provide a solution to our nation’s waste problem; while at the same time producing a viable product.
Why are Some of These Alternative Fuel Sources Regulated as Hazardous Waste?
The majority of fuel quality wastes that are labeled hazardous receive the designation because of their flammability and/or because their improper handling and treatment could adversely affect the environment. Hazardous wastes cannot legally be land-disposed without prior treatment and EPA has designated thermal treatment such as energy recovery in cement kilns as the Best Demonstrated Available Technology (BDAT) for treating them safely.
Is Energy Recovery Safe?
Energy recovery from alternative fuels is a safe process. Each step of the recycling process that produces and uses these fuels is regulated by USEPA and subject to strict standards that govern both air emissions and management practices such as transportation, handling, and storage under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Air Act (CAA). Not only is the use of hazardous waste derived fuel stringently regulated, but it is also closely and continuously monitored for both fuel inputs and combustion exhaust.
What are the Benefits of Energy Recovery?
The benefits of energy recovery are significant. Each year, the United States generates millions of tons of secondary materials that have significant energy value. To recover this energy and avoid wasting it, the cement industry uses several million tons per year of these materials as alternative fuel; thereby conserving non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal and reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses. [Proposed Rule, Identification of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That are Solid Waste, 75 FR 31844, 31849 (June 4, 2010)]