Monday, 5 October 2015

Catalysts for Cleaner Cement Production

Sustainable chemistry has a major role in building our future Smart Cities, ensuring our technologies are as clean as possible and providing the basis for 'green' living.

SusChem has provided much input on chemistry's contribution to energy efficiency in buildings and their contribution to Smart Cities initiatives including the SusChem report "Innovative chemistry for Energy efficiency of buildings in smart cities" and our visionary flagship project the Smart Energy Home

Another clear example of chemistry's contribution to cleaner construction is provided by Clariant. Cement production generates considerable harmful emissions including fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and ammonia, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and sulfur oxides. Cement is the main component of concrete, the most widely used construction material in the world.

Using a combined catalytic process the emissions from cement production can be reduced by 90% or more. In a first stage nitrogen oxides and ammonia in the cement process flue gas react on a catalytic layer, where they bind to iron active centres. The molecules interact with each other forming water and harmless nitrogen.

In the next stage remaining organic contaminants and carbon monoxide are eliminated by catalytic oxidation in an innovative ceramic honeycomb catalyst with an activated zeolite-coated surface. The zeolite matrix provides durable protection against dust, sulfur oxides, and moisture which can result in fast catalyst deactivation. This key innovation enables the catalyst to survive under the harsh conditions of the process for a considerable time.

Using the two-stage process toxic pollutants are almost completely purified with pollutant emissions reduced by 90% and more meaning that required emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants can be easily met by cement plants. You can find out more about this innovative process in the video below.

For more information on SusChem initiatives for Smart Cities and construction materials, please contact SusChem coordinator Jacques Kormornicki at Cefic.

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