Sustainability from alternative fuels

The world produces over a billion tons of cement every year. At the heart of this process, burning fuel and emitting greenhouse gases, is the kiln. Little wonder, then, that the kiln is the focus for new technologies to create industrial processes that are clean, efficient and sustainable.

Burning fossil fuel, such as coal, is still the preferred way of reaching the high temperatures needed in heavy industrial processes such as cement production.
However, CO2 emissions from fossil fuels harm the environment. And in the long term, fossil fuels are not a sustainable source of energy—one day they will be exhausted.

While experts estimate that the world has enough coal for the next half century, heavy industries need to break their reliance on fossil fuels before the situation becomes critical.

Sustainable processes for sustainable business

One solution is to fire, or co-fire, alternative fuels such as RDF (refuse-derived fuel), biomass, wood pellets or wood chips. Capable of maintaining temperatures as high as 1,500 °C, these new fuels are able to replace conventional fossil fuels such as coal, lignite, oil and gas, without raising production costs or affecting quality. And the returns can be well worth the investment: a plant that’s environmentally friendly, and business that’s economically sustainable.

However, new fuels require new technologies. And that’s where FLSmidth has been helping out.

Complete solutions for alternative fuels

A specialized department within FLSmidth’s Material Handling division in Germany is focusing on enclosed conveying systems. The Wadgassen center applies FLSmidth’s process know-how to develop complete solutions for alternative fuels.

FLSmidth's customers in cement, steel, wood and power generation benefit from plant and firing processes that meet increasingly rigorous standards for emissions and energy efficiency.

One of the FLSmidth's recent success stories is the Feedex™ overhead reclaimer.

The Feedex™ overhead reclaimer

Suspended from the ceiling by chains and winches, the overhead reclaimer is a chain conveyor that is able to store up to 2,000 m³ of alternative fuels in a box with a small footprint.

It can be operated in three different modes:

  • Automatic intake mode: As it is fed into the storage bunker, the alternative fuel is leveled flat to use the full volume of the bunker.
  • Automatic extraction mode: The reclaimer feeds the alternative fuel to a discharge screw conveyor located at the discharge end underneath the bunker. The reclaiming speed adjusts automatically to the filling level of the discharge screw conveyor.
  • Automatic and simultaneous intake and extraction mode: As it is fed into the storage bunker, the alternative fuel is leveled flat to use the full volume of the bunker. At the same time the reclaimer feeds the alternative fuel to a discharge screw conveyor located at the discharge end underneath the bunker.

The reclaimer speed adjusts automatically to the filling level of the screw conveyor and the filling level of the bunker.

Testing the new technology - alonside customers

Once design was complete, a prototype overhead reclaimer was built and tested in the Wadgassen, Germany center.

Customers were invited to join in with the testing and see for themselves the positive impact the Feedex™ overhead reclaimer could have on their businesses. In the second phase reclaimers were installed in different locations, optimized and commissioned. As a result, a number of key players in the industry now benefit from newly-fitted overhead reclaimers.

The new overhead reclaimer is just one of a range of products that make up FLSmidth’s complete material handling system. Starting at the truck docking or unloading station, moving through the high volume storage system and on to feeding and combustion systems, FLSmidth has well-tested technologies that ensure plants using alternative fuels can compete on cost with fossil-fueled plants, while out-performing them on emission reduction and sustainability.


Reception

Reception hopper equipped with: * Rotating discharge device * Sliding frame discharge * Screw bottom discharge * Single docking station * Double docking station

Transport

  • Drag chain conveyor
  • Pipe conveyor
  • Screw conveyor
  • Belt conveyor

Feeding

  • Bulk fuel spreader
  • Drag chain conveyor
  • Screw conveyor
  • Slide gate system

Storage

  • Cylindrical flat bottom silo systems with:
  • Rotating discharge device
  • Sliding frame discharge
  • Screw bottom discharge
  • Drag chain conveyor
  • Rectangular bunker equipped with
  • Overhead reclaimer
  • Live bottom

CONTACT: Matthias Adamy