Plasma Arc Reactor to Manufacture ‘Green’ Portland Cement
Rotatory kilns are used by cement plants worldwide to generate clinker, the main ingredient of portland cement. These kilns contribute to total greenhouse emissions and cannot perform at exceedingly high temperatures, limiting their efficiency. Environmental Engineering researchers, in the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, have developed a high-temperature plasma arc reactor that produces clinker in a controlled environment. This #GatorMade reduces the carbon footprint of cement manufacturing!
This highly efficient plasma arc reactor eliminates fuel-borne CO2 emissions and facilitates recycled waste use in manufacturing traditional portland cement. The concrete and cement industry is expected to grow 8 percent by 2023 . Cement plants worldwide utilize a rotatory kiln to generate the clinker used to produce portland cement. However, these kilns negatively contribute to total greenhouse gas emissions and cannot perform at exceedingly high temperatures, limiting the efficiency of cement manufacturing.
Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a high-temperature plasma arc reactor capable of producing the main ingredient of portland cement, clinker, in a highly controlled environment. This reactor avoids the clinker contamination possible with rotary kilns, enables use of recycled waste byproducts in cement manufacturing, and has a less harmful impact on the environment.
A high-temperature plasma arc reactor for cement clinker production that reduces the carbon footprint of cement manufacturing
- Allows the use of non-organic waste materials to produce clinker, reducing the carbon footprint of cement manufacturing
- Operates using grid power or renewable battery banks, cutting the fuel-borne CO2 emissions of cement plants
- Avoids clinker contamination by fuel combustion residues and refractories, enabling the production of an ideal portland cement
- Forms clinker at temperatures above rotary kiln maximums, dramatically increasing cement production efficiency
This reactor aims to optimize and refine cement clinker production by employing high temperatures and a controlled environment. The reactor utilizes a plasma torch to perform the thermal treatment and can fully automate temperature up to 3,000 degrees Celsius, which is twice the temperature produced by a rotary kiln. It also generates the heat without traditional fuel sources to eliminate fuel-borne C02 emissions. After manufacturing clinker, a quantitative X-ray diffraction uses a Rietveld refinement technique to analyze its mineralogical compositions for optimal cement phases.