Assessing the use of alternative fuels in the cement industry

In this project, Ecofys investigated how the European cement industry could contribute to increasing Europe’s waste to energy capacity as part of the EU Energy Union Strategy. To do this, Ecofys looked into the amount of waste which is currently used as a fuel to produce cement, as well as what potential there is to increase this volume.

Accounting for the differences between EU Member States, Ecofys carried out three case studies as a display of different levels of maturity in terms of waste management and co-processing rates. The case studies represent Greece, Poland and Germany, and focus on the overall potential, the benefits as well as barriers and drivers of co-processing waste in cement plants.

The study shows that if Member States succeed in improving their waste management strategies, co-processing of waste in cement kilns can contribute to EU ambitions of CO2-mitigations, resource efficiency and the circular economy. Furthermore, although investments are needed in the cement industry, the society can save large investments in new waste incineration plants.