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Sustainable cement grant for AI and Coomtech

Coomtech kinetic dryer

Partnership allows Aggregate Industries to move towards sustainable targets and circular economy

AGGREGATE Industries, in partnership with clean technology firm Coomtech, have received a grant to support the development of a lower-energy and reduced-carbon cement, as they seek to create a roadmap to net zero by 2030.

The grant from BEIS, managed by Innovate UK, is part of support funding for major industries to meet the UK’s net-zero targets. The grant allows Aggregate Industries to utilize Coomtech’s innovative kinetic drying technology and the reclamation of pulverized fuel ash (PFA) from landfill to develop this new cement product.

Using managed turbulent air, Coomtech’s kinetic dryers remove surface moisture by shearing the water from particle surfaces, keeping the air and moisture separate from the dried particles, which go to storage, transport, or directly into processing.

Aggregate Industries are using this technology to remove moisture from recycled PFA, as they seek to decarbonize their processes and implement a circular economy business model.

In their new sustainability strategy ‘Building Progress for a Sustainable Future’, Aggregate Industries have made a commitment to increase their use of recycled materials from 1.5 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes by 2025 and to reduce waste to landfill to zero. The use of reclaimed PFA supports this transition.

Chris Every, chief commercial officer and a founder of Coomtech, said: ‘We’re delighted to have the support of Aggregate Industries in this grant project. Coomtech are especially pleased to have the business’ ongoing technical and commercial input to the project operation and analysis of performance.

‘The added benefit of our new drying technology is its flexibility – providing the potential to dry a wide range of materials being considered to aid the greening of the cement industry, including limestone, ground blast-furnace slag, natural pozzolans, and other crushed and milled minerals that can offer an activated character to combine in cement and concrete mixes.’

Barry Mellor, cementitious materials manager at Aggregate Industries, commented: ‘The partnership with Coomtech allows us to move towards the sustainable targets we’ve committed to as a business. Their innovative kinetic drying technology enables us to create a new cement product using reclaimed PFA, which would otherwise sit in landfill.

‘Traditional methods of drying PFA would use a high amount of energy, thus recycling this material, combined with a low-energy drying process, results in a product which offers an overall reduction in energy, CO2, and carbon footprint.

‘As we seek to move towards a circular economy, utilizing products such as PFA, which would otherwise sit in landfill, is a really ground-breaking move forward for our business and the industry.’

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