Comparative Energy and Exergy Analysis for the Utilization of Alternative Fuels in the Cement Kiln

Document Type: Research Article


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University (SRTTU), Lavizan, Tehran, Iran.



The cement industry is one of the most energy and carbon-intensive industries. The energy and carbon reduction is an important issue in this industry. The present work considers the use of alternative fuels in the cement kilns. The amounts of excess air, the location of fuel and air entrance, as well as the amount of produced gas stacks, are the main design and operational variables in the kilns. Comparative assessments of alternative fuels are performed by the mass, energy, and exergy analysis of different regions in the kilns. The obtained results show that using alternative fuels reduces the amounts of excess air and the exit temperature becomes closer to the ambient temperature. The alternative fuels demonstrate lower energy and exergy loss inside the cement kiln by supplying the required energy for the clinker production. Their utilization in the current kiln reduces CO2 emissions. The results of the present work may be used for the optimal design and operation of cement kilns. This work provides an in-depth analysis of the material efficiency, main energy losses and the exergy destruction of the process.


Atmaca, A. Yumrutas, R. (2014). Analysis of the parameters affecting energy consumption of a rotary kiln in cement industry. Applied Thermal Engineering, 66, 435-444.

Boateng, A.A. (2008). Rotary kilns: transport phenomena and transport processes.  utterworth-Heinemann.

Chen, H. (2014). Modeling and simulation of cement clinkering process with compact internal burning of carbon. Applied Thermal Engineering, 73, 1285-1308. 

Elattar, H.F. Stanev, R. Specht, E. Fouda, A. (2014). CFD simulation of confined non-premixed jet flames in rotary kilns for gaseous fuels. Computers & Fluids, 102, 62–73.

Engin, T. Ari, V. (2005). Energy auditing and recovery for dry type cement rotary kiln systems–A case study. Energy Conversion and Management, 46, 551–562.

Gao, T. Shen, L. Shen, M. Liu L. Chen, F. (2015). Analysis of material flow and consumption in cement production process. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112:1-13.

Genon, G. Brizio, E. (2008). Perspectives and limits for cement kilns as a destination for RDF. Waste Management, 28, 2375–2385.

Hökfors, B. (2014). Phase chemistry in process models for cement clinker and lime production. Doctoral Thesis, Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (Thermal Energy Conversion Laboratory).

Kääntee, U. Zevenhoven, R. Backman, R. Hupa, M. (2004). Cement manufacturing using alternative fuels and the advantages of process modeling. Fuel Processing Technology, 85, 293– 301.

Kaddatz, K.T. Rasul, Azad Rahman, M.G. (2013).  Alternative fuels for use in cement kilns: process impact modeling. Procedia Engineering, 56, 413 – 420. 

Kara, M. (2012). Environmental and economic advantages associated with the use of RDF in cement kilns. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 68, 21– 28.

Kookos, I.K. Pontikes, Y. Angelopoulos, G.N.  Lyberatos, G. (2011). Classical and alternative fuel mix optimization in cement production using mathematical programming. Fuel, 90, 1277–1284.

Madlool, N.A. Saidur, R. Rahimb, N.A. Islama, M.R. Hossian, M.S. (2012). An exergy analysis for cement industries: An overview. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16, 921– 932.

Mehrpanahi, A. Nikbakht-Naserabad, S. Ahmadi, G. (2019) Multi-objective linear regression based optimization of a single pressure steam power plant. Energy, 179, 1017-1035.

Mokrzycki, E. Uliasz- Bochen´czyk, A. (2003). Alternative fuels for the cement industry. Applied Energy, 74, 1-2, 95–100.

Mamlouk, M. Zaniewski, J. (1999). Materials for civil and construction engineers. Addison Wesley Longman. Inc.

Ngako, S. Mouangue, R. Caillat, S. Kuitche, A. Saragba, E. (2015).  Numerical investigation of bed depth height, axial velocity and mean residence time of inert particles in steady state industrial cement rotary kiln: Case of Figuil Plant in Cameroon. Powder Technology, 271, 221–227.

Nikbakht-Naserabad, S. Mehrpanahi,  A. Ahmadi, G. (2019). Multi-objective optimization of feed-water heater arrangement options in a steam power plant repowering. Journal of Cleaner Production, 220,  253-270, 2019.

Peray, K.E. (1979). Cement manufacturer’s handbook. Chemical Publishing CO. Inc.

Pipilikaki, P. Katsioti, M. Papageorgiou, D. Fragoulis, D. Chaniotakis, E. (2005).Use of tire derived fuel in clinker burning. Cement & Concrete Composites, 27, 843–847.

Rahman, M.G.A. Rasul, M.M.K. Khan, S.S. (2013).  Impact of alternative fuels on the cement manufacturing plant performance: an overview. Procedia Engineering, 56, 393 – 400.

Rahman, M.G.A. Rasul, M.M.K. Khan, S.S. (2015). Recent development on the uses of alternative fuels in cement manufacturing process. Fuel, 145, 84–99.

Renó, M.L.G., Torres, F.M. Silva, R.J. Santos, J.J. C.S. Melo, M. L. N. M. (2013). Exergy analyses in cement production applying waste fuel and mineralizer. Energy Conversion and Management, 75, 98–104.

Reza, B. Soltani, A. Ruparathna, R. Sadiq, R., Hewage, K. (2013).  Environmental and economic aspects of production and utilization of RDF as alternative fuel in cement plants: A case study of Metro Vancouver Waste Management. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 81, 105–114. 

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce on behalf of the United States of America. (2011) (National Institute of Standarsds and Technology)

Uso´n, A.A. Lo´pez-Sabiro´n, A.M.  Ferreira, G. Sastresa, E.L. (2013). Uses of alternative fuels and raw materials in the cement industry as sustainable waste management options. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 23, 242–260. 

Vahidi, S. Moradi, N. Abbaslou, H, (2017). Developing of Alternative SRFs in Kerman’s Cement Industry by Energy Optimization and Economical Feasibility Approaches. Environmental Energy and Economic Research, 1(3), 259-268.

Vermeulen, I. Caneghem, J.V. Block, C. Dewulf, W. Vandecasteele, C. (2012).  Environmental impact of incineration of calorific industrial waste: Rotary kiln vs. cement kiln. Waste Management, 32, 1853–1863. (The Statistics Portal) (accessed 2017/11/30)