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    Cement Plants, EPA Compliance Estimated 140 Portland Plants in U.S. Market

Action: Final rule.
Summary: EPA is finalizing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
(NESHAP) from the Portland Cement Manufacturing Industry and to the New Source Performance Standards
(NSPS) for Portland Cement Plants. The final amendments to the NESHAP add or revise, as applicable,
emission limits for mercury, total hydrocarbons (THC), and particulate matter (PM) from new and existing kilns
located at major and area sources, and for hydrochloric acid (HCl) from new and existing kilns located at major
sources. The standards for new kilns apply to facilities that commence construction, modification, or
reconstruction after May 6, 2009. The final amendments to the NSPS add or revise, as applicable, emission
limits for PM, opacity, nitrogen oxides (NOX), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) for facilities that commence
construction, modification, or reconstruction after June 16, 2008. The final rule also includes additional testing
and monitoring requirements for affected sources.

Dates: These final rules are effective on November 8, 2010.

Cement manufacturing plants are reliant on quarry mining operations, these operations supply limestone and
clay to the plant processes. These materials are dried, preheated and undergo Calcinations and sintered into
a cement clinker. To comply with aforementioned rule, air pollution control equipment may now be necessary
in the cement process. Cement plants emit CO2 but may also emit acid gases, mercury, particulate, total
hydrocarbons, and hazardous air pollutants (HAP's).  All of these materials originate from the limestone, many
times limestone formations contain Kerogen Hydrocarbons, Kerogen hydrocarbons occur naturally in many
sedimentary rock formations, when these rock formations are heated they release hydrocarbons.

Purchasing the Correct Emission Control Equipment

Most public anxieties have been directed toward visible emissions, noise and odor. Often cement plant
emissions may be viewable from plant exhaust system, principally from the particulate and sulfurous amalgam.
Many times plants have installed fabric filters and bag houses to remove the visible emissions. Frequently a
dry injection scrubber has been used to further reduce emissions and volatile materials contained in the waste
exhaust stream. To reduce volatile organic compounds and sulfurous emissions, many facilities have installed
control devices which may include granulated activated carbon systems, Biofiltration, acid scrubbers, hot
waste ceramic filters and, in a few instances a regenerative thermal oxidizer. The purpose of the regenerative
thermal oxidizer is to further remove any remaining carbon monoxide and any total hydrocarbons. The
Biofiltration system Filtercrobe is a very effective method in removing H2S, SO2 and Chlorinated Hydrocarbon
emissions in the process stream with destruction control of 99%+.

Regenerative thermal oxidizers are considerably more tolerant while maintaining a very high level of
destruction efficiency on VOC emissions. Regenerative thermal oxidizers operate on many different levels of
total hydrocarbons. One of the most important aspects within the cement industry is the ability to function on
the many variants in the rock material composition. Many other types of air pollution control systems are often
designed to accommodate a single hydrocarbon type. The total hydrocarbon levels will vary with the process
rock material. Regenerative thermal oxidizers have demonstrated to operate well with changing types of total
hydrocarbon concentrations.

Process Development for the Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer

Regenerative thermal oxidizers are best designed to operate after any initial particulate bag house system and
granulated carbon biofiltration (Filtercrobe) system. If Halogens are present in the waste stream the
Filtercrobe System should be utilized before the regenerative thermal oxidizer. Sending acid gas to the
Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer will require much higher construction costs. These costs may include such
materials such as Inconel, 316L and or A20.    


When a Regenerative thermal oxidizer has been selected in emission control, some substantial issues should
be evaluated such as the size of the area needed. With real estate becoming very costly a small compact or
modular designed regenerative thermal oxidizer will allow plant flexibility and becomes a more favorable

Regenerative thermal oxidizer scope of supply must consist of optimizing the ceramic heat recovery media.
There are many types of ceramic media available, but only a few are proven to be durable enough in cement
plants. One such structured ceramic material (block) is designed to be highly compact and non-porous and
has proven to be very effective against any particulate build up. Ceramic saddles should not be used and
have proven in the past to become impacted or plugged frequently; such impaction will reduce the plant
process flow.

Newly adopted environmental compliance makes add on equipment a necessity for plant additions for cement
plants around the country. Many cement plants have begun installing upgrades to their emission control
systems. The use of a regenerative thermal oxidizer is the logical choice for total hydrocarbon emissions and
is found to be BACT qualified.  
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