SKOKIE, Ill. -- The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and Cement Americas magazine acknowledged the Buzzi Unicem USA, cement plant in Greencastle as part of the 2009 Cement Industry Energy & Environmental Awards, honoring sustainable manufacturing practices.
The plant won the Award's Innovation category that recognizes cement industry leaders in the development and application of innovation technologies and techniques relevant to environmental protection or energy efficiency.
The Greencastle facility found an innovative means to address a portion of their energy needs. It is the only cement plant in the U.S. utilizing spent pot liner (SPL) as an alternative fuel source. SPL, a waste product generated by the aluminum industry, traditionally has been sent to landfills. The Greencastle plant developed a dedicated storage, handling, and injection system for off-site processed spent pot liner. In addition to recognizing a modest replacement of coal when using the material, SPL's raw material constituents also allow for modest replacement of raw materials such as sand and shale. Based on the success of the SPL project, Buzzi Unicem USA is exploring the possibility of incorporating additional hard-to-handle waste materials from other industries.
"Minimizing the environment impact of its plants and making their local communities better places are top priorities for cement manufacturers," said Brian McCarthy, PCA president and CEO. "Buzzi Unicem's Greencastle plant is at the fore-front of manufacturing technology and illustrates the cement industry's commitment to produce a superior product while continuously challenging policies and procedures."
The Cement Industry Energy & Environmental Awards honor individual cement facilities that exemplify the spirit of continuous environmental improvement and support this spirit with action. These plants go beyond government regulations and local laws to ensure that their processes contributed to making their communities better places to live and work. Five categories are recognized: Outreach, Environmental Performance, Land Stewardship, Innovation, and Energy Efficiency. Additionally, PCA presents a special honor to a plant demonstrating excellence in multiple categories.
The awards program was created in 2000 by the Portland Cement Association as part of its renewed environment and energy strategic plan for the U.S. cement industry. PCA and Cement Americas magazine presented the first Cement Industry Environmental Awards in 2002 to the winners for 2001. The awards honor activities conducted during the previous calendar year, and the program is open to any cement manufacturing plant in North America. Judges for the 2009 awards represent independent groups such as Cement Americas magazine, the Cement Association of Canada, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Cement Sector Program, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program.