Industries & Application
Mercury from Cement Production
Cement production is a critical industry for any developing country, as it is widely used in the construction of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure.
The cement’s primary raw materials are limestone, clay, iron sand (oxide), and fly ash, which are ground and mixed before being fed into a cement kiln to produce what is commonly called “clinker”. The clinker is crushed and ground into very fine powder, mixing with gypsum to create cement. This powdered cement is then mixed with water, which then aggregates to form concrete that is commonly used in construction.
Mercury from the raw material
There are multiple potential sources of mercury emission from cement production. Mercury is present as a contaminant in varying levels within the raw materials used for making cement, primarily fly ash. In the high-temperature kiln processing to anneal the mixture, mercury may be heated and released into the environment as a gas.
Mercury from large amount of burning fuel
Besides, to operate these kilns, fuel is required. Usually, the cement industry uses coal, other fossil fuels, or materials to produce heat and energy via the combustion process. The process involves a lot of energy production, visualized by the large smokestacks that tower above cement plants.
Through the burning of fuels and the processing of multiple raw materials, mercury is continuously discharged into the air and our water sources through the release of processed waters and solid wastes.