Refuse Derived Fuels (RDF) in the cement industry

Combustibles derivados de residuos

The European Union has been working for several years with different public and private entities in order to improve living conditions, the quality of the air breathed by the inhabitants and the implementation of fuels derived from waste and renewable energies as Refuse Derived Fuels.  The evident effects of global warming have ceased to be the last item on the political agenda and have gradually been taking an important role in the political landscape, not only in Europe, but worldwide. 

2019, a year in which historic temperatures were recorded rising by more than one degree Celsius, was a year of record-breaking temperatures according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is evidence that the fight against climate change is not a secondary decision, quite the contrary. Today, concrete measures are being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The main target is at least 55 % compared to 1990 by 2030, according to EU estimates. 

The trend on the part of the cement industry and the national government in the use of RDF. 

Despite the efforts of the national government and local industries, Spain continues to lag behind in the use of alternative fuels. Compared to other countries of the Union, the country is far behind in the generation of this type of fuels, and if we add to this the economic/health problems generated by COVID-2019, it does not seem a priority the implementation of this type of fuels in the national industries. What is a reality is that many companies want to rely less and less on fossil fuels and join this renewable energy trend.

According to the Fundación Laboral del Cemento y Medio Ambiente, the percentage of alternative waste used in cement plants in Spain between 2017 and 2019 was 30.9 %.  This is a percentage far below than other countries such as France and Germany with 43 % and 68.9 % respectively, or far from the 81 % of Austria, which is the country with the highest proportion of fossil fuel substitution by waste in the region.

The importance of refuse-derived fuels RDF in the cement industry

RDFs refuse derived fuel has taken on an increasingly important role in the renewable energy industry.  But what are RDFs and what are they for? They are mainly fuels produced from non-hazardous waste for energy recovery through co-processing that serve as a supplement to fossil fuels.

RDF is obtained from waste and raw materials composed of waste, which are then treated, subsequently used as alternative fuels and used by different industries, such as the cement industry.

The relevance of alternative fuels in the cement industry

The cement industry has been working on the use of RDF fuels derived from waste for energy recovery and to avoid as much as possible dependence on fossil fuels, which in the long run are more harmful to the environment and the ozone layer.  While this industry and the sector in general continue to make enormous efforts to improve the sourcing and utilization of waste-derived fuels, there is still much work to be done, which represents an opportunity for SPR Group, which has experience in the cement industry and in the cogeneration of alternative fuels from waste.

RDF is the most efficient, economical and sustainable solution for harnessing the energy and raw materials contained in waste, which can be properly treated and used as fuel for production in the cement industry.

 

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