Central Plains Cement (formally Lafarge Cement) is hot stuff. Literally. Cement manufacturing is one of the most energy-intensive industries on the planet, requiring Central Plains’ Kansas City plant to burn coal at 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit—about the surface temperature of a star. When Central Plains was burning 100% coal, they consumed 100,000 tons a year. They wanted to offset the increasing costs of coal and its associated greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, they were hell-bent on it.
Two local companies, Systech and Central Plains Cement, partnered in this project. Systech supplies Central Plains cement kiln with materials to use as alternate fuel source or as a raw material substitute. The benefits of using alternate raw materials in the cement industry include the elimination of the need to dispose of the materials in landfills and avoidance of air emissions and other environmental impacts of production and transport of natural resources.
So, in 2007 they installed a processing system to allow them to use materials like paper, wood, cardboard, plastic and rubber to use as a fuel to heat the kiln to temperatures of 2,700 degrees F. Using these materials from local companies instead of the traditional non renewable fossil fuels extends the lives of our local landfills, and reduces local truck traffic.
The equipment was installed in December 2007, and began modestly with a customer base of 5 companies—all By Product Synergy members. That list has now grown into over 30, with a 2013 budget of over 30,000 tons of re-deployed fuels. An average of over 60% of Systech’s fuel usage is from non traditional alternate fuel sources. The benefits of using alternative fuels in the cement industry include:
Reduces the use of non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal as well as the environmental impacts associated with coal mining;
Contributes towards a lowering of emissions such as greenhouse gases by replacing the use of fossil fuels with materials that would otherwise have taken up valuable landfill space;
Maximizes the recovery of energy from the alternative fuel material. All the energy is used directly in the kiln for cement production. It also maximizes the recovery of the non-combustible part of the alternative fuel material as all of the resulting ash is incorporated into the final cement product.
Synergy Metrics (2007 – 2012)
Hallmark: 6,438 tons
Harley Davidson: 118 tons
CCP: 255.53 tons
Sprint: 23.5 tons
Grand total: KC-BPS members have diverted 13,273 tons from the landfill (2007-2012)
Lafarge-Systech, Hallmark Cards, Inc, Cook Composites and Polymers, Sprint, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc., Cargill – Paseo Cargill Energy, LLC, INX International, Extreme Recycling.