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Sample preparation and analysis of highly heterogeneous mixtures for quality control

With ever increasing socio-economic and geo-political demands, the use of secondary fuels in cement manufacture is a well-established practice for reducing both costs and CO2 emissions. The depletion of resources, combined with an increasing demand for primary fuels such as oil, gas or coal, make it paramount for energy consuming industries to search for alternative energy sources.

Usually, these alternatives are non-fossil fuels and over the past few decades industries with high energy consumptions have made greater advances in the use of alternative fuels. The use of these so called secondary fuels is therefore becoming increasingly important. Secondary fuels are usually solid fractions of domestic or industrial waste which cannot be recycled.

Approximately two thirds of the CO2 released in the cement industry is fixed by the process, leaving one third that could be reduced by various methods such as improved plant control, more efficient movement of materials, and the use of secondary fuels. Controlling the CO2 emissions and preventing the release of pollutants are important objectives. In addition to these environmental issues, the plant operators also have to take care of commercial aspects, with the most important being to derive as much energy as possible from the secondary fuel. Consequently, extensive quality control of secondary fuels is crucial.

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