Air Clean Up

  • Cement Hazardous Air Pollutant Standard Required an Investment of $ Billions

Cement Hazardous Air Pollutant Standard Required an Investment of $ Billions

Oct 14 2010 Read 1216 Times

The US EPA has now released the long awaited Portland Cement hazardous air pollutant standard. It will require billions of dollars of investment over the next three years by the U.S. cement industry. Equally important is the impact on the upcoming standards for industrial boilers and utilities. If the cement industry has to reduce acid gases by 97 percent, what precedent does this set for the utility industry with much more acid gas emissions?

The compliance date is three years from promulgation which will actually be a few weeks from now when the standard is posted in the Federal Register. The rule will result in the following annual reductions:

  • Mercury - 16,600 pounds or 92 percent
  • Total hydrocarbons - 10,600 tons or 83 percent
  • Particulate Matter - 11,500 tons or 92 percent
  • Acid gases - (measured as hydrochloric acid): 5,800 tons or 97 percent
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) - 110,000 tons or 78 percent
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) - 6,600 tons or 5 percent

The emissions from individual cement plants vary greatly. This is a result of the chemical composition of the limestone which is the raw product. The cost of transportation is sufficiently high that use of alternate limestone sources is not possible. The result is greatly different pollution reduction needs from one plant to another. This translates into opportunities for suppliers with innovative technology. In some cases, the emission reductions will be low and sodium injection may be a low capital cost option. In other cases, there will be a need for levels of reduction not achievable with the standard solutions. This may open the door for wet electrostatic precipitators and even for hydrochloric acid production.

There are attractive markets for scrubbers, regenerative thermal oxidizers, fabric filters and wet precipitators. Some of the changes will involve new routes for the clinker kiln dust and, therefore, for pneumatic conveying equipment. Major components will include slurry valves, pumps, dampers, fans and nozzles. There will be substantial requirements for piping and ductwork.

Instrumentation investments will also be substantial. There is increased need for optimization of the systems to incorporate output from new acid gas, mercury, NOx, and particulate matter continuous emissions analysers. Various level control, temperature and water quality instruments will also be needed.

There will be new opportunities for chemicals including limestone, lime, activated carbon, sodium and various water and wastewater treatment chemicals. There will also be opportunities for the use of alternative fuels such as biomass.


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