Over the last 20 years, interest in diverting waste from landfills and recovering energy from waste materials has grown significantly. The cement industry in particular has adapted its production methods to accommodate a wide variety of waste materials as alternative fuels in order to lower both cost and environmental footprint. The incineration of waste products at existing cement plants is generally cheaper than building a new, dedicated incinerator as cement kilns generally meet the requirements for incinerating hazardous wastes. In addition to negative perception, particularly where potentially hazardous waste materials are concerned, there are a number of technical challenges in the use of alternative fuels at cement plants. This paper focuses on the incorporation of trace elements in ordinary portland cement through the use of alternative fuels, including the behavior of trace elements in the manufacturing process and their effects on final products. A brief overview of the use of waste tires, solidified sewage sludge, and meat and bone meal as alternative fuels is presented along with a discussion of challenges and opportunities facing the field.
Horsley, C., Emmert, M., & Sakulich, A. (2016). Influence of alternative fuels on trace element content of ordinary portland cement. Fuel, 184, 481–489. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2016.07.038
*denotes a WPI undergraduate student author