Advancing the Turbines | Cement of the World

Arun Mote, Triveni Turbines, examines the role of turbine design in waste heat recovery (WHR) systems and looks at the future of technology in India’s cement industry.

Growth in cement production peaked at 4,200 million t (MT) in 2014 and has since fluctuated between 4,000 MT and 4,200 MT. China accounted for around 55% of world production and was the largest producer of cement, followed by India with 8%. The demand for cement comes mainly from the construction industry which drives production and is also the key driver for higher energy and CO consumption.2 emissions.

Some of the key trends seen globally include the continued decline in thermal and electrical energy intensity, as dry process furnaces, including preheaters and stage precalciners, replace wet process furnaces and as dry process furnaces. More efficient grinding systems are deployed.

Likewise, in order to reduce the carbon emissions induced by the production of cement, after 2030, many developments are undertaken by the industry. Some of them include:

  • The use of blast furnace slag generated by steelworks (a by-product of blast furnaces).
  • The use of wastes from other industries as alternative fuels (AF).
  • The use of alternative binding materials.
  • Electrification of cement production.
  • Deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies, in particular carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS).

Energy efficiency and WHR’s role in the Indian cement industry

According to the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) of India, energy efficiency and environmental concerns are seen as top priorities in the Indian cement industry. Almost 99% of large cement factories in India use the dry process. In addition, the industry has improved its use of AF and alternative raw materials (ARM) as well as the increased use of waste heat recovery (WHR) based power generation.

That being said, the adoption of WHR systems in cement plants in India still has a long way to go. According to recent industry estimates, there are over 250 large cement plants in the country; only 70% of cement kilns have adopted WHR systems, while the rest are setting up factories within the next 3-4 years. In contrast, WHR’s installation rate in China is over 80%, significantly higher than that of India.

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