Cementing Memories

Today, we drove to Limassol to tour Vassiliko which is a cement company based in Cyprus. I was really excited to learn more about their manufacturing process as this company employs chemical engineers to make their process safe and efficient. One of the lead chemical engineers with over thirty years of experience at Vassiliko went over all of the steps that Vassiliko must go through in order to make a quality cement. First, they have to extract the raw materials from their local quarry which has enough substance to last Vassiliko for at least forty more years. Then the materials have to be processed, refined, and ground to a flourlike powder.

Furthermore, the materials must be burned in a kiln which requires an abundance of fuel to keep running all day. This was a point of discussion because Vassiliko is avidly trying to find alternative sources of fuel to power the rotary kiln. Currently, Vassiliko uses roughly sixty percent of alternative fuel sources that are much better for the environment. The alternative fuel that they used is a mixture of cut up tires, wood, dried sewage, ground meat bones, and food waste. While this process is greatly reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses being emitted, Vassiliko still has to import these materials which can be costly. Additionally, they are still not completely eliminating the need for fuels as one section of the kiln needs to be run by regular fuel in order to ensure a steady temperature that would produce a high quality cement. This information was very useful in putting into perspective how difficult it can be to move to more environmental solutions. Being more sustainable is a goal that all companies should have and work towards and I am now more appreciative of large corporations that are investing time and money into finding more sustainable solutions. 

Leave a Reply