Waste Recovery

Cement sector in the world and our country replace the primary fuel and raw materials with the wastes conforming to acceptance criteria. Wastes with caloric value are used instead of conventional fuels. Wastes with mineral value are used for lime, which is the cement raw material, and other minerals.

Fuels, which are used as alternatives, are generated by processing industrial wastes, textile, wooden wastes, oil and petrol wastes and municipal solid wastes and dried urban wastewater treatment sludge.  Alternative raw materials, which are recovered as cement raw material, can be grouped as mine wastes, heat-treated wastes and construction wastes, by means of a simple classification.     

Due to the fact that primary fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum coke, lignite and natural raw materials such as limestone, marn, clay are used less during this process, the need for mining has reduced and it becomes possible to improve the environmental footprint of such activities.

Position of the Turkish Cement Sector

Cement factories in our country are distributed throughout the country and approximately 35% of 54 factories have license for using the wastes as alternative fuel. Despite this, alternative fuel use, which was 88 thousand tons in 2008, has only reached 760 thousand tons in 2017.  This figure corresponds to approximately 5% thermal substitution ratio. At the cement factories in the European Union countries, about 44% (in some facilities almost 100%) of the thermal power is obtained from the wastes. 

With 760 thousand tons of waste used by the cement factories in our country in 2017, saving on import coal was about 400 thousand tons.  On the other hand, the factories are faced with the below additional costs with the use of wastes as additional fuel:
• Additional investment (feed, storage, shipment etc.) 
• Additional production costs (production losses, increase in specific heat requirement, additional maintenance costs, additional personnel, occupational health and safety measures, additional laboratory and measurements)
• Technical risks (fire, explosion)

Usage Potential of the Municipal Wastes

Increasing the usage ratio after pre-treatment of the municipal solid wastes has a key role to increase the alternative fuel ratio in our country to a high average as in the case in Europe and the World.

Position of the Turkish Cement Sector

About 32 million tons/year of municipal solid waste are generated in Turkey and minimum 7 million tons of these wastes have additional fuel production potential. With the use of these additional fuels in the cement sector;
•    Saving on foreign currency can be achieved by preventing import of about 3 million tons of coal and it will be possible to decrease current deficit, 
•    An annual reduction of 1,7 million tons in greenhouse gases, which cause climate change, can be possible, 
•    The amount of waste to be transferred to the municipal solid waste storage areas is reduced,
•    Operating cost of the municipal storage area is reduced.

“Waste-derived fuel” can be produced by processing municipal solid wastes at the pre-treatment plants with biological drying systems to be installed at municipal solid waste sites. These plants can be established by the municipalities or private subsidiaries. Revenue can be generated from the sales of recoverable materials. Non-recoverable materials such as plastic, paper, cardboard, textile and organic content are dried and used as alternative fuel in the cement sector.

TCMA continues the awareness/dissemination activities for the use of municipal waste and the presentation and communications for the identification of the bottlenecks in terms of legislation and solution opportunities.

Contribution to Circular Economy

In “Linear Economy” model, which is based on “Take-Make-Dispose” principle and assumption that resources are abundant, available and waste disposal is cost-effective, a lot of waste is generated. In addition to this, environmental degradation and climate change occurs, natural resources are depleted rapidly and import raw material and fuel need increases.

The fact that natural resources are limited, the need for protecting the environment and reducing waste generation put forwards “Circular Economy” model, which is more sustainable in terms of environment and economy.

Position of the Turkish Cement Sector

TCMA broadcast the Documentary on the Role of Turkish Cement Sector in Circular Economy

Cement sector is an authentic process, in which recycling and recovery procedures take place. With this characteristic, cement production implements circular economy principles.

During the production stage, energy recovery and material recycling is made;  

•    Use of wastes as additional fuel 
•    Processing of the municipal solid wastes and sludge and their use as fuel 
•    Making use of fly-ash, slags as raw material 
•    Use of wastes as alternative raw material