Sustainable drying technology claims it will slash cement manufacture emissions by 75%
A sustainable drying technology designed to slash emissions in cement manufacture by up to 75% is one of six innovations being supported through a major R&D programme set up by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA).
The kinetic drying technology was developed by UK-based Coomtech to replace the inefficient 100-year-old thermal drying processes used in existing cement plants that demand high temperatures, and therefore high carbon emissions, to remove moisture from bulk raw materials.
In the process, a specially-designed turbulent air stream shears moisture from the surface of particles, allowing water to be carried away into the atmosphere and leaving behind dry particles for processing.
According to the start-up, the technology requires up to 75% less energy than thermal dryers, with equivalent CO2 and cost savings. Furthermore, the modular system can be plugged into existing processing plants – and with no moving parts is robust and low maintenance.
Chris Every, chief commercial officer at Coomtech, says: ‘The modules are designed to be locked together so if, for example, you're looking at drying ash or limestone materials to go into cement, we can build a plant that can do 30,000 tonnes a year or 300,000 tonnes a year – it’s simply a case of adding the modules together.’
The GCCA’s first ever Innovandi Open Challenge has been set up to accelerate the development of technologies that reduce or eliminate carbon and to help the industry achieve its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The shortlist, chosen from a pool of over 100 entrants, features companies from the UK, US, Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands. Innovations include carbon capture utilisation and storage, the production of low-carbon cement and cementitious materials, and low-cost drying technology.
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