Waste generally cannot be used directly for co-processing in our cement kilns, but must undergo a preparation process. This step delivers a stable product that complies with the technical specifications of cement production and guarantees that environmental standards are met.
Preprocessing is the concept of converting a wide variety of waste materials into a homogeneous mix of defined characteristics to make it suitable for co-processing in cement kilns. Pre-processing requires considerable expertise and investment – whether through shredding, blending, homogenizing or drying of waste.
At Geocycle, we have the installations, people and know-how to ensure expert pre-processing.
Co-processing is a globally recognized technology through which waste is treated in energy intensive industries such as cement. It helps in solving societal waste challenges responsibly and in an environmentally sustainable manner. Co-processing completely destroys waste materials through high temperatures and long residence time. The 3 Ts - Time, Temperature and Turbulence in cement kilns provide an extremely high destruction removal efficiency (DRE) for all waste types.
During co-processing, the mineral part of the waste replaces primary mineral materials (such as limestone, clay or iron) and the combustible part provides the energy needed for clinker production. As a result, 100% of the waste input is recycled and recovered without producing any residue. This contributes to a regenerative circular economy that closes resource cycles. It reduces dependency on natural resources and also leads to reduction in global CO2 emissions.
Co-processing can help address the most pressing waste concerns impacting our society today - industrial waste, municipal solid waste, plastic waste and open burning of biomass. Since co-processing utilizes already existing cement plants with only moderate additional investments required for waste handling, it leads to saving of public funds on waste management infrastructure.
The clear advantages of co-processing
Life-Cycle Assessment studies demonstrate that co-processing offers superior environmental performance to landfilling or incineration. Among its many advantages, it:
- Completely destroys waste materials through high temperatures, oxygen excess and long residence time
- Avoids formation of dioxins and furans due to the specific temperature profile
- Leaves no residue that needs to be landfilled, as the ash reacts with other components to form the manufactured final product
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions, as the waste is used to replace fossil fuels
- Preserves non-renewable fossil fuels and natural resources as the energy and mineral value of the waste materials are recovered