Co-processing is a method employed by cement manufacturers around the world that uses alternative fuels in the manufacture of cement. It is the recovery of the energy and mineral content of waste materials that serve as a substitute fuels or alternative raw materials to produce cement in a single operation.
The process burns waste materials such as plastics at 1450°C in a kiln chamber, recovering from them thermal and mineral properties that provide the energy needed to produce cement.
With co-processing, qualified wastes are completely destroyed while utilizing its energy and mineral components integrating into the manufacture of cement. In the Philippines, where the most common wastes disposal methods are thermal destruction and chemical or physical treatment, waste still eventually end up in landfills by way of its ashes and treated wastes. To help mitigate this situation, Republic Cement has been offering waste co-processing since the early 2000s to its partner communities.
Republic Cement has maximized the use of alternative fuels such as rice husk, saw dust, and refuse-derived fuel as a substitute for its fossil fuel requirements. Using these materials as fuel proved to be more environment-friendly, moving the company closer to zero waste and lower CO2 emissions.
Having established its leadership in providing innovative construction solutions and manufacturing expertise, Republic Cement plants are equipped with state-of-the-art continuous emission monitoring (CEMS) systems that are calibrated and maintained. The Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ensure compliance to emission limits and other regulatory requirements.
Plastic Neutrality for FMCGs
According to scientific estimates, about 80% of branded plastic residual wastes found in the ocean are from food packaging. While Republic Cement offers co-processing services to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, the perennial challenge of collecting and segregating remain a tedious task. “Waste Exchange”, “Palit Pakete” and “Re-fill Station” are but few of the attempts to at least reduce residual wastes by many organizations. These efforts, however, hardly create a dent in many companies’ wastes footprint.
With its enormous heat capacity to co-process residual waste plastics, Republic Cement provides “Plastic Neutrality” option for partners. Plastic Neutrality is a scheme in which a waste plastic generator engages another party that provides a method or technology to reduce or offset their plastic consumption directly aimed at reducing waste plastics in the communities and landfills. Specifically, the objective of these programs is to reduce single-use plastics and transforming wastes into resources which in the case of Republic Cement is as alternative fuel.
Republic Cement offers its post-consumer waste plastic consumption as alternative fuels to offset the use of plastics in consumer goods packaging. Post-consumer plastics are the materials or finished plastic products that have served their intended use and have been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, having completed their lives as consumer items.
In 2019, Republic Cement sealed three partnerships with companies looking to become plastic neutral including Nestle, Century Pacific Food (CNPF) and Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures (PIZZA).
“With more Filipino companies embracing the plastic-neutrality concept, we are confident that we will continue to make strides for a greener and stronger Republic,” said Francis.
Republic Cement has also established partnerships with local government units including the City of Manila; Valenzuela; Paete and Liliw in Laguna; Norzagaray, and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan; Teresa in Rizal; Taysan and Lipa City in Batangas, and San Fernando, Lubao Sasmuan and Mexico in Pampanga.
With co-processing, wastes materials are not just converted into a productive cement product, it also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease waste handling costs, and supports sustainable solutions in addressing the plastic problem in the country.