Experiences on AFR Journey in India in Last 10 Years: Conceptualization to Present Day Scenario
There had been remarkable changes in the last 10 years on the subject of AFR in India. The thermal substitution has shown a very positive trend year-on-year, though at a very slow pace earlier and picking up later in the last 2–3 years to a level of around 4%. The basic reasons for this can be broadly assigned to the lack of knowledge on AFR usage in Indian cement industry in early years, especially on the usage of industrial waste, lack of skilled persons for handling and usage of industrial wastes, lack of proper infrastructure for storage and feeding of AFR materials to cement kilns, lack of proper understanding on the permitting process in regulatory bodies and above all the WILL to receive and use the waste materials in cement plants. In the last 2 years, a remarkable transformation has been noticed in all the above aspects with dramatic changes in the mindset of regulatory bodies, the plant operating professionals and also in the waste generators who are shifting to co-processing as a better option over landfilling and incineration as it provides a cost-effective option to them. In April 2016, with the revised MOEF rules that incorporate co-processing as the better option for the recovery of energy, the scenario is changing fast towards higher utilization of different types of wastes in cement kilns. Cement plants also have made proper investments to improve their infrastructure that can help in the scientific disposal of industrial waste in the plants in a sustainable manner, for proper handling, storage and feeding of different types of wastes at appropriate points in the kiln system without affecting the product quality and the environment. In short, the cement plants are focusing on higher usage of all types of waste and reduce their dependency on the conventional fuels and raw materials.