One of the most useful materials in construction is also one of the most misunderstood - cement. The cement industry is facing an increasing demand for environmental sustainability, greater access to energy, and increased cost competition. There are several ways the industry is responding to these challenges and opportunities.
One challenge is to improve operational efficiency. This can include process improvements and better management of energy use. It also includes the use of alternative fuels, such as coal, coke, oil shale, and biomass in kilns for drying of raw materials and fuel. Another response is to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted per unit output of cement. One method is to capture CO2 from flue gases for use in a cement kiln or another process for producing companies. Other methods include limiting the amount of limestone required for cement production by recycling waste materials from power plants or by producing cements with lower limestone content but with higher performance characteristics (e.g., compressive strength).
Another challenge is to increase the use of alternative materials to reduce the amount of cement needed in a construction project. This includes lightweight concrete made with coarse aggregates and lightweight cement, or CLC (e.g., fly ash, silica fume). The challenge is to reduce the amount of energy used in cement production. One method for doing so is to recycle some of the heat from industrial processes such as incineration and ammonia production to produce cement.
One more method is to recover energy that would otherwise be wasted from kilns by circulating exhaust gases through a neighboring process that uses this heat or by converting excess heat into electricity. Other methods have included capturing the energy from waste gases, such as coke oven flue gases; use of electrical resistance kilns and circuit heaters to produce cement without using limestone; and using alternative feedstocks that require less limestone, such as fly ash or silica fume (SF).
Several companies are experimenting with other sources of alternative feedstock. The cement industry also is working on finding better ways to meet the increasing demand for Cement in China. This includes using more raw materials that are available in China and introducing new products optimized for local production conditions. At the same time, there is increased customer pressure for environmental sustainability.
Cement is an indispensable part of our society, without which we would be unable to build anything that lasts. The industry provides opportunities to do interesting field work that often integrates with a wide range of other sectors, such as architecture and construction. Find out about the different types of cement and the many jobs within this industry.
It's no secret that cement is one of the most important materials in our society. Without it, we wouldn't be able to construct some of the most beautiful buildings in cities around the world — and without it there would be little need for architects or construction workers.
Although it is one of the most common materials in use, cement is an interesting product that can be used in many different ways. Engineers look for ways to improve materials as well as products, and cement is no exception. Cement can be used for a wide range of purposes; however, there are four main grades of cement that are typically used to help engineers achieve these goals.