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Cement industry: protecting natural resources by reusing alternative materials

Substitution of natural resources in the Austrian cement industry

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Sebastian Spaun, Felix Papsch

Association of the Austrian Cement Industry

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Today, the use of secondary resource - either as a source of energy, as a source of raw material or a combination of both - represents one of the fundamental achievements by the Austrian cement industry on its pathway of moving towards a sustainable development. The advantages for the environment, society and cement producers are evident: by using secondary resources, natural resources are conserved, discarded resources are recycled, landfill space is saved, energy is recovered and the dependence on primary resource markets is reduced. One of the main constituents for cement production is the so called cement clinker. The Austrian cement industry has taken efforts to reduce this energy intensive part in the cement by substituting cement clinker with alternative main constituents.

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  • In the year 2016, the Austrian cement industry processed more than 600 thousand tons of secondary raw materials, more than 1 million tons of alternative main constituents and more than 500 thousand tons of alternative fuels for the production of cement.
  • All in all, 2.2 million tons of alternative resources have been used to produce 4.7 million tons of cement which means that for every ton of cement that has been produced, almost 500 kg of alternative resources have been reused.