Illinois gives coal-fired cement project an extra 18 months

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on June 19 granted Universal Cement an extra 18 months under a deadline in its air permit to begin construction of its coal-fueled Portland cement plant, to be located in Cook County.

This Portland cement manufacturing plant would include a preheater/precalciner kiln, with in-line raw mill, a clinker cooler, a finish mill, and storage and handling of materials. Universal Cement had requested an extension of its construction permit/prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) approval that was issued on Dec. 20, 2011.

A PSD permit becomes invalid if construction is not commenced within 18 months after it becomes effective. This 18-month period may be extended by the permitting authority upon a satisfactory showing that an extension is justified.

“The Illinois EPA has determined that the extension requested by Universal Cement is justified,” the agency said. “The proposed plant is a large and complex project. There also are no other proposed projects in the area competing for the air quality resource.”

The planned kiln system will be a “short” dry kiln equipped with a multi-stage preheater and a precalciner. The preheater and precalciner improve the energy efficiency of the kiln system, reducing fuel consumption per ton of output. In the kiln system, the feed materials are converted into “clinker”, the intermediate product for manufacturing of Portland cement. The kiln system will be designed to fire solid fuel (i.e., coal, petroleum coke and scrap tires). Coal and petcoke would be fired in the kiln and the precalciner. Scrap tires, as available, would be able to be fired in the precalciner. The kiln system will be designed to fire natural gas or propane during startup.

Filterable particulate matter emissions from the kiln system will be controlled by a fabric filter baghouse. NOx emissions will be controlled by staged combustion, with the effect of firing tires generally being to further stage combustion. A selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) system will also be used to control NOx. This SNCR system will be located in the riser duct at the exit of the precalciner where conditions will be suitable for control of NOx. A Circulating Fluidized Bed Absorber will facilitate control of SO2 emissions.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.