Holcim plant seeks change of fuel permit for SC plant

Regulators have scheduled a public hearing about Holcim’s Holly Hill, South Carolina cement plant request to change the way it burns liquid wastes for fuel.

Holcim spokeswoman Robin DeCarlo said, “We currently burn fuel in one place in the kiln and this permit will allow us to burn it further along in the process.

Holcim burns a variety of hazardous materials as fuel in the place of fossil fuels. That includes various waste solvents, oils, out-of-specification intermediates and products from various industries such as the paint, plastics and petroleum industries.

The plant has a permit to burn waste-derived fuel in its Portland cement kiln. The new permit will allow the plant to also treat and burn the fuel in the precalciner portion of the cement kiln.

The precalciner or burner system is a suspension preheater in which, in addition to the kiln flame, extra fuel is burned in the base of the preheater. Raw materials enter the preheater at the top and descend through the tower, being heated by hot exhaust gasses from the kiln.

Additional fuel is added at the base of the preheater with material passing from the precalciner to the kiln. The precalciner is more efficient.

Holcim is also seeking a permit to construct a new stream channel designed to protect the plant from potential flooding. The project is awaiting approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

DeCarlo said the company expects to receive approval to proceed though is not certain when it will occur.

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