More efficiency, less energy consumption

Grinding aids are used to improve the production efficiency of cement grinding plants and their energy consumption. In addition, these products enhance the granulometry as well as powder flowability of the finished cement.

Life Cycle Assessment

To illustrate the benefits from cement grinding aids, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed of a polycarboxylate ether (PCE) polymers based grinding aid (GA). The LCA is from cradle-to-gate, which includes all life cycle stages from raw material extraction and logistics to manufacturing and packaging. Three cement grinding scenarios have been established, which differ in the dosage of the GA. The production output and grinding energy consumption for each scenario is shown below.

  Production output (ton cement/hour) Grinding energy consumption (kWh/ton cement)
Scenario 1; no GA                              80 50.2
Scenario 2: 0.018% GA 85 47.3
Scenario 3: 0.035% GA 90 44.7

Results and conclusions

To illustrate the gains from using the PCE-based grinding aid (GA), the impacts (from the production of the GA and the energy consumption to grind the cement) are shown, relative to the scenario without grinding aid. Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) accounts for the consumption of energy resources, namely the total amount of primary energy from renewable and non-renewable resources. Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures the potential contribution to Climate Change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO₂), which enhance the heat radiation absorption of the atmosphere, causing the temperature at the earth’s surface to rise.

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Cumulative Energy Demand (CED)

In terms of CED, for scenario 3 it "costs" 11 MJ to produce the grinding aid for one ton of cement. Due to the lower grinding energy consumption, the overall net gain of primary energy is 54 MJ compared to the scenario without grinding aid.

 

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Global Warming Potential (GWP)

In terms of GWP, for scenario 3 it "costs" 0.4 kg CO₂ to produce the grinding aid for one ton of cement. Due to the lower grinding energy consumption, the overall net gain is 2.5 kg CO₂ compared to the scenario without grinding aid.