Mannok and FLSmidth implement carbon-reducing cement production technology
April 5, 2023 By Rock to Road Staff
March 31, 2023, DERRILYN, Northern Ireland — Mannok and FLSmidth have applied the FUELFLEX Pyrolyzer, a combustion system that seeks to almost entirely eliminate fossil fuels, into the most carbon intensive stages of cement production. This technology is set to reduce Mannok’s daily carbon emissions by 240 tonnes, along with significantly diminishing their nitrogen oxide emissions.
The concept of the FUELFLEX Pyrolizer was developed by Danish engineering company FLSmidth in 2018, who contacted Mannok about further developing and deploying the technology in cement operations. Both companies have spent the last several years revising the technology as needed through real life testing before effectively deploying it nine months ago, running it consistently since.
The pyrolizer targets production of clinker, a precursor to cement, and the most fuel intensive part of the overall production process, accounting for 60 per cent of Mannok’s fossil fuel use. Reducing this number through the FUELFLEX system is a part of Mannok’s decarbonization commitments, where the company hopes to reduce their emissions by a third by the end of the decade and net zero by 2050.
Mannok have stated that this technology now puts them on track to eliminate all coal usage in the pre-calcination phase of production, resulting in removing around 40,000 tonnes of coal from the annual production process and resulting in the elimination of 58,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions is also significant. While reducing these emissions was not an intended function of FUELFLEX, Mannok have almost eliminated their use of ammonia water, down from 48,000 litres per week, and are running around 20 per cent below their permitted nitrogen oxide limits.
Solid recovered fuels, the alternative energy source used by FUELFLEX during the pre-calcination stage, are made up of non-recyclable commercial wastes that would otherwise go to the landfill. Mannok have been using this supplementary energy source in their clinker production since 2014, but this new technology allows for full coal displacement.
Solid recovered fuels are both environmentally and commercially viable, not only reducing the carbon footprint involved in cement production, but sourced by Mannok from counties immediately surrounding their plant.
In a press release, Mannok stated that, “With such significant environmental and commercial benefits, FLSmidth’s FUELFLEX technology is likely to become a feature of cement production works across the globe, and for [us], this is the first major success in the company’s pursuit of net zero.”
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