Hungarian Cement Concrete and Lime Association
Magyar Cement-, Beton- és Mészipari Szövetség

Facts, information and curiosities about cement production

Facts, information and curiosities about cement production


Did you know that...

...cement production is one of the most stringently regulated activitiy, closely supervised by the authorities?

All Hungarian cement factories are in direct contact with the competent environment protection authority, so the authority can take immediate actions if any limitation would be exceeded.

...there is no more gypsum mined in Hungary for cement production?

The so-called REA gypsum is a by-product coming from the flue gas scrubbers of thermal power plants. This artificial material is used by the cement industry instead of natural gypsum. Therefore, mining of natural gypsum is not required and the usage of the by-product of thermal power plants is also an additional environmental benefit.

... the average emission indicators of Hungarian cement manufacturers are far below the prescribed limits?

The Hungarian regulation and the limits set by the domestic cement producers themselves are more stringent than those applied by the European Union.

... the reduction of carbon dioxide emission is possible by substituting mined limestone?

There are several industrial by-products available, such as certain metallurgical slags, which can replace natural limestone, while using them also leads to a smaller carbon dioxide emission.

... all the production plants need energy, but it does matter where they are getting it from?

In case of the cement industry, selected and properly prepared waste-based fuel will more efficiently replace conventional fossil fuels than any other case of energetic use.

... cement factories around thew world utilize different kind waste?

Re-usable waste types include rubber, textile or plastic waste, tires, impregnated sawdust, dried waste water and paper sludge, meat and bone meal, waste oil, etc. The Hungarian cement industry has also recognized that utilizing waste-based energy sources and by-products from other industries is a forward-looking approach to reduce environmental impacts and global carbon emissions. Waste can be incinerated only in facilities which  meet the requirements set in the legislation about  waste incineration (FM Decree No 29/2014 (XI 28)).

...during energy recovery process waste is transformed into simple compounds which nature can utilize again?

Some types of waste can deface or in worst case even impair the environment for centuries, while during the energy recovery process waste is transformed into simple molecules that wildlife can utilize.

...thanks to the perfect burning nowadays, a modern cement factory's chimney mostly emits nothing but steam?

The temperature of a cement factory's furnace well exceeds 850 °C required by the incineration laws, and all other conditions for perfect combustion are set. At this very high temperature (around 1400-1500 °C) the environmentally harmful materials decompose and their components are incorporated into the cement. This is the reason why it is safe to burn tires in a cement factory for example, using them as fuel. In fact, due to high-temperature combustion, nitrogen oxide emissions in the case of alternative fuels are less than of fossil fuels. Harmful materials would be only able to get in the air if the combustion would not be perfect, but as it is you can only see the condensate vapor instead of smoke above a cement factory chimney.

...about 20% of the selectively collected waste is unsuitable for recycling as it is not clean or homogeneous, not to mention mixed waste household waste?

According to an English study, if a plastic waste can be used in less than 70% ratio to replace plastics,  the utilization option offered by the cement industry is environmentally more favorable than recycling.

... there are a lot of waste that is considered hazardous due to organic components and can harm the environment in their original form, but can be used excellently and safely as a fuel?

For example, oil or petrol poses a risk to living organisms in the environment and is therefore classified as hazardous waste. Likewise, dressed seeds are also cosiderd hazardous if they are not used in our garden, but becomes waste for whatever reason. There are, of course, wastes that are excluded from cement recovery, such as poisonous, explosive or radioactive hazardous wastes.

...if organic waste would be deposited instead of incineration, it'a biodegradable carbon content would start to decompose, leading to the formation of harmful gas containing methane?

Organic waste incinerated does not pose a health risk because it can't cause soil or water pollution and can't produce methane.

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