By Liz White, ERJ staff
Rugby, UK-The UK's Environment Agency announced 15 Aug that it would allow Cemex UK Cement Ltd to re-start trials using chipped tyres as a partial substitute fuel at its Rugby cement works. Trials were stopped by the EA in mid-2004, following partial failure of equipment to remove particulates from the dust passing up the chimney.
"Having stopped the trial use of chipped tyres as a partial substitute fuel in July 2004, we insisted the company carry out improvements to its operation," commented the EA's area environment manager Paul Quinn
"Cemex has responded positively to our concerns and the performance of the plant has improved significantly. We are now satisfied that the trial can restart," Quinn added, in an EA release on the restart.
At the same time, the firm has, as demanded by the EA, produced a detailed Environmental Improvement Plan. Cemex UK Cement delivered this plan to local concerned residents involved in the Rugby Cement Community Forum in February this year. The plan covered aspects such as management control, training, fugitive release reduction, waste management and monitoring.
Cemex UK Cement-at that time Rugby Cement-was initially given a permit for the trials, which allowed up to 10 tonne an hour of chipped tyres in its fuel, by the EA in September 2003.
Under this permit, the company had to perform trials and meet stringent criteria, said the EA. Such trials started in May 2004, but were halted by an EA enforcement notice on 1 July that year, because the amount of particulates (dust) passing up the chimney had increased. The problem-unrelated to use of tyres as fuel, said the EA-was that part of the equipment designed to remove particulates was not working.
"Our experience of the use of tyres as a partial substitute fuel at other cement works in the UK indicates that there should be environmental improvements," commented Quinn. He added that as the trial continues, the agency will inspect and monitor the plant's performance. "We will not hesitate to take swift action should there be any breach of the stringent permit conditions," Quinn concluded.