CRH plc, headquartered in Ireland, is one of the top five companies in the building materials sector worldwide. It employs c.75,000 people at 3,600 operating locations in 35 countries. CRH is committed to embedding Corporate Social Responsibility as an integral component of its performance and growth strategy. Irish Cement is a major company within the CRH Group and has been producing cement in Ireland for over 70 years. It is committed to the integration of sustainability considerations into decision making at all levels of the organization. Irish Cement’s plants at Castlemungret, Co. Limerick and at Platin, Co. Meath comply with IPPC licenses issued by the EPA.
CRH recognises the challenge posed by climate change and is committed to the sustainability of its business activities. In 2006, CRH made a commitment to achieve a 15% reduction on 1990 levels in specific carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2015, for a defined portfolio of cement plants.
Approximately 40% of the CO2 generated in the production of cement clinker arises from the carbon content of the fuels used, due to the traditional reliance on fossil fuels within the industry. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of its process, Irish Cement has embarked on a programme of the displacement of traditional fossil fuels in its cement kilns with sustainably procured, specially prepared, waste-derived alternative fuels. The first step in this strategy has been implemented, with the substitution of a proportion of the coal used at Platin Works with prepared Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), the primary alternative fuel used by Irish Cement due to its availability and technical compatibility. SRF is the clean, dry blend of fragments of plastics, paper, cardboard and textiles which arise once recycling of waste materials has been completed through mechanical and biological treatment. This fuel is produced to defined chemical and physical standards suited to the cement industry. >50% of the thermal energy requirements of the clinker manufacturing process at Platin will be supplied using alternative fuels in the future.
Some of the many societal advantages of using alternative fuels in the cement manufacturing process are:
The introduction of alternative fuels represents a fundamental change to the cement manufacturing process at Irish Cement facilities. Some of the challenges include:
R&D, Production, Quality, Environment, Process, Technical Marketing
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