Volume 12, Number 5
A Gossman Consulting, Inc. Publication
May 2007

Cement Kiln Alternative Fuels


David Gossman

For nearly 30 years the Portland cement industry has pursued a growing list of alternate fuels saving natural resources, reducing costs, decreasing emissions, decreasing the need for landfills and other disposal options and decreasing the CO2 footprint of emissions. I have personally been involved in working on a wide variety of these projects and thought that it might be helpful to have a master list of alternative fuels that have been are or are considered usable in cement kilns. I hope to come back and update this list from time to time so please email me with any more that I may have missed.

Industrial Waste Byproducts

Waste solvents and other chemical industry wastes

Waste oils and petroleum wastes

Solid hazardous waste fuel

Ship oil waste (Basel Convention waste)

Tar balls from oil ships

Diaper manufacturing waste

Plastic waste from pharmaceutical packaging

Waste from roof shingles and tar paper

Spent aluminum potliner – treated and untreated

Aluminum anode waste

Paper pulp sludge

Glycerin from biodiesel production

Contaminated soils


Palm kernel shells

Rice kernel shells

Biosolids – from sewage sludge

Shredded woody wastes and sawdust

Used railroad ties

Rendering wastes and other animal processing wastes

Waste cooking oils

Landfill gases

Filter cake – from oily waters and other organic containing cleanups

Consumer Wastes

Auto fluff

Electronic disassembly wastes

Buffer pads – from polishing

Carpet scraps – pre can post consumer

Plastic shred from recycling wire

Off specification spirits (alcoholic beverages)

Hospital wastes

Tires – whole and shredded

Refuse derived fuels – and organic containing streams from recycling household refuse

Battery cases

Alternative natural fuels

Tar sands

Oil shale

Please note that not all these fuels are suitable for all cement kilns. Each kiln and its unique process and chemistry must be evaluated to match appropriate fuels with kilns. Further, rigorous waste fuel quality control programs are needed to safely handle many of the above materials. There are numerous other resources at the gcisolutions web site that discuss these issues in more detail. Please call me at 563-652-2822 if you have any questions.