The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has announced Argos USA, Ash Grove Cement and LafargeHolcim are among the winners of the 2020 Energy and Environment (E&E) Awards.
The PCA says the awards recognise outstanding environmental and community relations efforts completed in 2019.
PCA CEO Michael Ireland says: “America’s cement manufacturers continue to focus on researching and developing new and innovative ways to reduce environmental footprint. The companies receiving these awards are great examples of our industry’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.”
The awards were presented during the PCA Fall Virtual Committee meetings.
Argos USA — Harleyville, South Carolina
The Argos Harleyville cement plant focused on improving overall energy management by reducing kiln specific heat consumption and increasing the utilisation of the new vertical cement mill (VCM), which in turn lowered overall power consumption. The Harleyville plant achieved both goals, reducing the kiln specific heat capacity by 7.5% and producing all Type I cement in the VCM, lowering power consumption by 13%.
Ash Grove Cement — Midlothian, Texas
The Ash Grove Midlothian plant received air permits and operated a whole tyre burning system utilising a “hot disk” system that is supplied with whole tyres from a nearby tyre recycling company. This system helps reduce tyre disposal to landfills while also displacing fossil fuel consumption at the plant.
GCC of America — Odessa, Texas
GCC’s Odessa plant completed installation of a Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) System for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission reduction. An optimisation protocol was executed to define the most efficient operational conditions, which both maximised NOx reduction and minimised ammonia slip. In order to make this determination, GCC developed an approach to the programming of the SNCR system control loop, resulting in a more stable emission control and lower ammonia emissions while maintaining the required NOx emission limit.
LafargeHolcim — Holly Hill, South Carolina
In order to address safety, economic and environmental considerations, LafargeHolcim’s Holly Hill plant relocated a diversion canal, restoring it to an ecologically beneficial stream similar to its original path. The multi-year, multi-million-dollar project played a critical role in quarry water management by significantly reducing the groundwater infiltration, as well as minimising the potential collapse hazard of the existing diversion canal. The stream also includes a hardwood woodland buffer along most of the new channel route, providing enhanced habitat for indigenous plant and animal species.
Roanoke Cement Company/Titan America — Troutville, Virginia
Roanoke Cement Company’s broad and varied outreach was demonstrated in plant tours, campus events, off-site presentations, articles, newsletters, honours and the communication of major plant initiatives. Periodic publications brought the plant’s news on developments, like its Zero Waste initiatives, to customers and the community. Educational experiences on campus served to make both students and environmental professionals familiar with RCC’s work. Exciting developments on-site reached political leaders and “green” builders who scheduled visits and toured the operations and surroundings.
Overall Environmental Excellence
Lehigh Hanson — Union Bridge, Maryland
Lehigh Cement undertook a Haines Branch Stream mitigation project, which spanned 2.2 miles, and the company has been monitoring the area since project completion. After three years of monitoring and allowing ample time for the proper flourishing of flora and fauna, the results became highly visible with improved water quality while attracting numerous wildlife to the region. Lehigh Cement also discovered that the clay and shale overburden existing at the New Windsor site contains the desired amounts of alumina and silica necessary for the production process. The New Windsor Quarry team carefully blends over 150,000 tonnes of the clay and shale overburden materials annually with cement grade limestone through the crusher. This resulted in numerous beneficial impacts to the environment and reduced the overburden storage pile footprint.