Today, the extensive use of alternative fuels is indispensable for the economic and ecological production of cements. This can be associated with an increased input of chloride and sulphate, for example, and the accumulation of increased quantities of salt-contaminated dust. The X-ray analysis of such dusts in the plant laboratories is a challenge because, on the one hand, suitable calibration samples are lacking and, on the other hand, the variability of the dusts causes reduced precision and measurement errors that are sometimes difficult to trace. By improving the characterisation of these substances, an optimised feedback into the production process can be achieved, because, for example, smaller storage quantities have to be provided for dosing the dusts to the cement.
Improved dust analysis can also support process control, as the risk of the formation of undesirable deposits in the kiln system due to chloride and sulphate loads can be better assessed through precise knowledge of the dust composition and thus disturbances can be avoided. This applies in particular against the background of a further increase in the proportion of alternative raw materials/fuels, which is an economic necessity, especially for SMEs in the cement industry.
The aim of the research project was therefore to define the procedure for robust and precise dust analyses in plant laboratories in order to enable optimal utilisation of the production dusts and to support process control. The findings were compiled in the form of a procedure manual so that the implementation of analytical methods on process dusts in the factory laboratory can be carried out without the ongoing support of external laboratories, if necessary.