Alternative fuels for a more sustainable business


Using waste materials as high-energy alternative fuel is having a powerful environmental and economic impact for Tarmac’s cement plants.

Our cement kilns at Tunstead, Aberthaw and Dunbar are now utilising an average 32% wastederived fuels respectively, thanks to good process mastery at the plants and quality materials sourced by Sapphire. Sapphire is a Tarmac business set up to source and process wastes to produce quality controlled WDF specifically designed for use in our cement operations.

The aim is to eventually substitute as much traditional fossil fuel with waste-derived alternatives as we can. This approach gives waste material a ‘second life’ as a high-energy fuel source and usefully recovers the mineral component of the waste as a useful part of our product, avoiding less environmentally beneficial disposal options; such as sending it to landfill.

Where possible, Sapphire sources fuels locally, further reducing overall carbon footprint. There are also economic benefits, as Andrea Magro, General Manager at Sapphire, explains: “The goal is to maximise the substitution of traditional fuels with waste-derived fuels with the objective to develop at the same time more sustainable and a more competitive business.

“Using waste-derived fuels at a plant isn’t always easy. In some cases it would be easier to use traditional fuels. But thanks to good mastery of the process, excellent people skills and a supply of good-quality fuels, it is possible to achieve substitution with a positive impact on both the environment and the business.

For Mike Eberlin, Managing Director, Cement and Lime, another key aim is to change perceptions of cement plants.

He said: “We’re using waste-derived fuels to benefit the community, reinforcing our position as a positive contributor to the circular economy. Through Sapphire, we’re delivering key services to communities and stakeholders, and contributing to the management of waste streams.”

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“By using waste-derived, alternative fuels we’re reinforcing our position as a positive contributor to the circular economy.”

Mike Eberlin,
Managing Director, Cement and Lime