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Energy and environmental savings via optimisation of the production process at a Spanish cement factory

Castañón, A.M., García-Granda, S., Guerrero, A., Lorenzo, M.P., Angulo, S.
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.98 pp. 47-52
carbon dioxide, cement, cost effectiveness, energy, energy conservation, energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, least squares, manufacturing, petroleum, temperature
With the aim of optimising the production process at the La Robla Tudela Veguín cement factory and improving the characteristics of the final product, a statistical study has been carried out relating kiln parameters with clinker quality. The parameters that most influence the manufacturing process have been identified and correlated with quality parameters. The importance that all these parameters might have with one another has also been shown. Applying the results thus obtained has led to significant energy savings. These findings represent production advantages from both the economic and environmental standpoint, bearing in mind the tons of CO2 which cease to be emitted to the atmosphere.The most important parameters in clinker production have been identified, as well as those that have the greatest influence, using a PLS (Partial Least Squares Projections to Latent Structures) regression program which explains the variability of “kiln” variables (X) with respect to dependent “quality” variables (Y). An analysis of the most important X and Y variables, such as Alite and Free Lime, was carried out. It was found that a decrease in the kiln Sintering Temperature (standardized at 50 °C) yielded produced the same level of quality in the final product. This finding implies a reduction in petroleum coke consumption and a reduction in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, with the subsequent energy and cost savings at the factory, in addition to contributing to greater sustainability of the clinker production process.