Main focus of our services

a) Determination of raw material-induced emissions

High temperatures are required for the production of cement clinker. This involves the burning of fossil and alternative fuels in the main and, if applicable, the secondary firing system of the kiln plant. Various airborne pollutants, for which emission limits have to be met, are formed in this process. Certain airborne pollutants do not however only occur within the combus-tion process, they may also be released during heating of the raw meal in the preheater. This applies for instance to the ex-haust gas components SO2, NH3, CO, total carbon and also mercury.
The authorities concerned can make exceptions from the relevant emission limits for those exhaust gas components which primarily originate from the raw material ("raw material-induced emissions"), as these depend on the raw material available at the site and are thus unavoidable. Owners generally have to provide information on the level of raw material-induced emissions when applying for such exceptions.
Samples of the naturally occurring raw materials are analysed at the VDZ laboratories to determine the level of raw material-induced emissions. Following appropriate treatment, the samples are heated under controlled conditions in a laboratory kiln ("gas liberation apparatus") in a raw gas-like atmosphere and the airborne pollutants released in the process are measured either continuously or intermittently. The level of the raw material-induced emissions can be established from these results and further necessary data from the rotary kiln plant of the cement works.


b) Analysis of aqueous solutions for organic and inorganic substances

Today we make use of a wide range of methods offering excellent verification for the analysis of organic and inorganic substances in aqueous solutions. Following appropriate sample preparation, we employ a combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine organic substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) or highly volatile aromatic hydrocarbons (BTEX). Trace elements – from antimony to zinc – are usually determined using the extremely high-performance inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. For mercury we continue to apply the reliable atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) process. Calcium, sodium, potassium and the common anions chloride, sulphate and fluoride are quantified by means of ion chromatography (IC).


c) Release of trace elements from solids

The regulations set down in the applicable European and domestic legislation must be observed with regard to the trading and use of construction products. The environmental compatibility and safety of the construction products used must be guaranteed, particularly in the case of building work in ground-water and soil as well as in the drinking water sector. On account of their favourable properties (great durability and impermeability, low substance emissions), use is often made of cement-bound construction products in hygienically sensitive areas as well.
Leaching tests can be employed to verify the environmental compatibility of construction products. These determine whether the substances emerging from the construction products satisfy the stipulated requirements. VDZ has many years of experience in the assessment of the environmental compatibility of cement-bound construction products and has already conducted a number of projects aimed at further enhancing existing analytical methods at its research institute. Right from the product development stage we can advise our customers on the topic of environmental compatibility and perform extensive testing and trials for the assessment of environmental compatibility.

Our methods



Tank leaching test

CEN/TS 16637-2

Shaking test

DIN EN 12457-4

DEV S4 method

DIN 38414-4

Long-term tank leaching test

Guideline of DAfStb

Your benefits

  • As well as conducting the leaching tests, VDZ will assess the results obtained with regard to environmental compatibility
  • Thanks to its participation in various committees, such as CEN/TC 351/WG 2, the DIBt expert committee "Environment" and the DAfStb AA "Environment", VDZ is involved in all the latest developments

Material testing and analysis

Our interdisciplinary team can provide answers to questions relating to the manufacture and application of cement and concrete in line with the latest state-of-the-art. At the same time we can offer our customers a range of services encompassing all important testing activities and consultation work, right through to complex expert reports. Up-to-the-minute research and a professional attitude towards service combine to produce synergies which are reflected by the high quality and practical relevance of our work.

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Damage analysis

Do you have a problem with a damaged concrete structure? We will analyse the damage and assess the actual state of your structure. On the basis of the results obtained we can plan the protection and maintenance work required for your structure.

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Reference materials

We can supply you with a variety of reference materials for use in the laboratory to help you check and assure the quality of your analyses. Materials for the analysis of cements and alternative fuels are currently available. We can provide a standard ASR test cement for checking the alkali reactivity of aggregates.

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Laboratory reviews and laboratory training

A plant laboratory has to perform analyses which are both precise and efficient to be able to guarantee a consistently high level of quality in production. With their experience of research and practical work, our experts can carry out regular checking of your laboratory procedures and test methods as a means of identifying further potential for optimisation.

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Performance of cement

We can offer you various comprehensive services for the purpose of optimising the performance of cement. In doing so we provide you with full support throughout the entire process. Our interdisciplinary teams of experts have many years of experience gained from customer projects around the world and also further their knowledge by working on practical research projects.

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Concrete technology

Our experienced team of experts provides answers to all questions relating to the production and processing of concrete. We can offer the full spectrum of important testing and consultation services, together with complex expert reports, ranging from structure management and material and durability tests right through to sustainability assessments and approval inspections.

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Person to contact

Do you have questions regarding this service?

Dr Stefan Schäfer
Environment and Plant technology

+49-211-45 78-252

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