Dwindling resources and the resulting spike in the price of raw materials are lending ever more weight to the call for the use of alternative sources of energy. Global competition and higher production costs mean that the energy intensive cement industry in particular needs effective solutions for reducing the cost of energy. In this situation, the use of alternative fuels for energy production is gaining increasing commercial significance. Since the early 1980s, the BEUMER Group has been acting as a partner for the cement industry in the development of technologies for producing energy through the use of alternative fuels. The globally operating company has set new standards with its innovative installations, in particular for the sensible use of used tires as an alternative, high-energy fuel.
The advantages of using used tires over traditional types of fuel are obvious: tires offer high heating value, which is comparable to coal or oil. At the same time, the cement industry in particular benefits from the opportunity to use the scrap iron content of the tire carcasses as mineral additions in their products. This removes some or even all of the need for adding other ferrous correctives. Other studies, including research by the Federal Environmental Agency, have proven that the use of substitute fuels is a positive development, in particular with a view on protecting the climate.
With over 50 solutions for transporting and batching used tires and tire shreds already installed worldwide, the BEUMER Group can look back on 30 years of experience with the technology. With this know-how, the company is constantly improving the operating reliability and efficiency of the technology as well as its ability to meet the increasingly tough requirements for environmental protection, emission limits and other country-specific standards. In the course of its research work, the company has also developed systems for conveying and batching ground tires (tire shreds) for feeding rotary kilns.
Pre-ground tires offer the advantage of easier batching compared to whole tires. The higher density of the material and the consequent savings in its transportation are a further argument for the choice of ground tires as fuel.
BEUMER know-how reducing costs: a Ciment Quebec project
Important fuel cost reductions are being enjoyed by the internationally active cement producer Ciment Quebec Inc., based in St. Basile, Quebec, Canada. Since early 2006, the company has been using a highly complex BEUMER solution for receiving and conveying tires as fuel in the production of cement. When the contract was awarded in June 2004, the client expected BEUMER to install a system that supplies its calciner with alternative fuels. These were expected to include whole and shredded tires as well as other automotive fluff, shredded plastics and wood. The finished installation has delivered all the elements that ensure the reliable and constant supply of alternative fuels for the production of cement.
Processing method: Shredded tires
The delivered shredded tires are dumped and stored in a walking-floor storage bunker, type walking-floor, from which a belt conveyor removes the required amounts of fuel. Ultrasonic sensors monitor the required levels on the belt.
A counter-rotating scraper produces an even distribution of the tire shreds on the belt conveyor. The flow of material is batched gravimetrically by means of a single-roller belt weigher coupled with the speed control of the conveyor belt system. The even discharge of the material into the calciner is managed by a winch roller, which stops oversized or stuck batches from entering the kiln.
For the burning of whole tires, a conveyor system was designed in parallel to the shredded line system that uses special sensors to identify and exclude strongly deformed tires or wheel rims. Material that is unusable for burning is automatically conveyed to a discharge point. In order to avoid leak air entering the calciner during the feeding process, the calciner feed point was equipped with a triple rotary gas lock. Three consecutive gas locks made from special steels allow only minimal heat loss as a result of their material and special design. This maintains a highly leak-tight system.
Global on-site service
When deciding on a supplier, Ciment Quebec was looking for a company offering experience with handling solid waste fuels. The global presence of the company, excellent on-site service and the comprehensive service package offered are further aspects that make BEUMER stand out from its competition. The company has been established in the U.S. with its subsidiary, the BEUMER Corporation in Branchburg, NJ, since 1977.
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