Food residue biomass product as an alternative fuel for the cement industry


The present study focuses on the production of an alternative fuel (AF) for the cement industry from a food residue biomass (FORBI) product, generated from pre-sorted household food waste (HFW). FORBI is generated by drying and shredding the fermentable fraction of HFW collected door-to-door in the Municipality of Halandri, Greece. The key physicochemical properties such as the net calorific value (NCV), and the concentration of heavy metals and chlorine are subsequently determined using well-established international standards (EN and ISO). FORBI is evaluated as a potential AF in terms of technical feasibility and environmental impacts. Based on the characterization, FORBI is classified as a non-dangerous waste according to EWC 20 01 08, European Commission Decision 2014/955. According to EN 15359, it is classified as category 3, 2, and 1 with respect to NCV, Cl, and Hg respectively. The study concludes that FORBI is a suitable candidate as a secondary fuel for the cement industry, given its high calorific value along with its low humidity and ash content. Challenges for practical implementation include the relatively high chlorine content, the inclusion of alkalis in the cement produced, and the reduction of non-thermal NOx emissions.

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This work is produced under research project Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement No 688995. Moving towards Life Cycle Thinking by integrating Advanced Waste Management Systems-[WASTE4THINK].

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Correspondence to Konstantina Papadopoulou.

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Papanikola, K., Papadopoulou, K., Tsiliyannis, C. et al. Food residue biomass product as an alternative fuel for the cement industry. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 35555–35564 (2019).

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  • Cement industry
  • Alternative fuel
  • Co-processing
  • Food residue biomass (FORBI)