How AI can help cement manufacturers to reduce emissions, whilst maintaining or even improving their production process efficiency and key business KPIs.

Decarbonization has gained increasing importance over the past decade, and continues to occupy the minds of cement manufacturing executives.

From improving energy efficiency to alternative fuels and clinker alternatives, cement manufacturers have a number of options at their disposal. Of course, many of these options are only as viable as local and national governments make them – but still, the race to net-zero is progressing at a global level.

However, there’s a problem.

Cement manufacturers need to produce as much high-quality cement as possible, to meet demand and beat out the competition. Or in fewer words: to be profitable. But if they use less energy, or switch to less ideal fuel or clinker alternatives, won’t they be forced to compromise key KPIs like clinker quality and kiln throughput?

Related: How a cement manufacturer reduced quality, throughput & energy losses – while cutting emissions

This tension between profitability and environmental protection lies at the heart of the issue of decarbonization. Cement manufacturers cannot be expected to cut emissions at the expense of their business. While this might rankle many die-hard environmentalists, it’s simply a reality – for better or for worse.

But is there a way to do both?

The answer is yes. Cement manufacturers can both reduce emissions, and still maintain or even improve their production process efficiency and key business KPIs.

Yes, it is possible to decarbonate and still run a highly efficient plant

At a recent cement industry panel hosted by Seebo, a senior cement manufacturer discussed how some of their factories boast alternative fuel rates of 90% – and still continue to push the limits in terms of process efficiency.

That might sound like a fairytale, but the “secret” is actually quite straightforward. The production losses that harm cement manufacturers’ bottom line – like unstable kiln throughput, clinker quality and energy inefficiency – usually stem from the same process inefficiencies that cause higher emissions levels as well.

So if these process inefficiencies are eliminated, it is possible to reduce quality, throughput and energy losses – and bring down carbon emissions at the same time.

Read the full World Cement article here