Recycling and Environment Business

Recycling & Environment

Tokuyama effectively makes use of waste matter and by-products to recycle resources in its cement production processes. The company has continued to foster this recycling mindset from the start of its cement business in 1938 through the present day. When the business was set up, Tokuyama used by-products from its soda ash plants and ash leftover from burning coal at its onsite power plants as raw materials for cement. At present, the company handles a vast amount of waste matter and by-products from a wide array of outside sources and utilizes them as recycled resources.

Many of these waste materials and by-products can be used as raw materials for manufacturing cement because they contain limestone, clay, and ganister (silica stone), which are common ingredients in cement. Other combustible waste matter such as plastic can be used as fuel to generate energy. Furthermore, since temperatures inside rotary kilns are extremely hot, ranging from 1,000 to 1,800 degrees Celsius, combustible materials can be completely burned and the ash used as an ingredient for cement, resulting in the additional benefit of eliminating all residual incineration ash.

Disposal and use of waste at a cement plant

Disposal and use of waste at a cement plant

Types of waste handled

Tokuyama handles waste matter using various resource-recycling facilities, including equipment for processing low- and high-moisture content sludge, as well as facilities for processing waste materials with sharp edges.

Category of waste Type of waste
Waste plastic Waste plastic (Excluding vinyl chloride)
After shredding at a recycled plastic fuel plant, it is injected directly into the kiln and used as a substitute fuel.
Sludge Construction sludge, water supply sludge, sewage sludge, paper sludge, fuel sludge, factory wastewater sludge, organic sludge
Low-moisture-content sludge can be used as an alternate cement material as is. High-moisture-content sludge such as sewage sludge must be stored in a special airtight tank, and then used as alternative cement materials.
Glass, concrete, and ceramic scraps Discarded siding pieces and gypsum boards
After being crushed in waste disposal facilities, discarded siding is used as an alternative raw material for cement. Discarded gypsum boards are also used as a substitute raw material for cement.
Soot and dust Coal ash, heavy oil ash
Coal ash is used as an alternative cement material.
Heavy oil ash is used as an alternative fuel.
Effluent Photographic developer solution, expired beverages, flammable waste fluids, waste alkali
After storage in a special tank, it is sprayed in a dryer. Flammable waste fluids are injected into a precalciner and used as an alternative fuel.
Burnt residue Clinker ash, burnt residue
Clinker ash and burnt residue are used as alternative cement materials.
Tailings Blast furnace slag, converter slag, steelmaking slag, neutralization residue
These are used as alternative cement materials.
Animal waste Meat-and-bone meal
Meat-and-bone meal can be used as an alternative fuel.
Incinerator ash Waste-incinerator ash
Can be used as a cement material as is. Tokuyama receives waste-incinerator ash from Yamaguchi Eco-Tech Co., Ltd.
Contaminated soil Contaminated soil
Contaminated soil can be used as alternative cement materials.
ASR Automobile Shredder Residue
ASR can be used as an alternative fuel.
*1 Some types of waste other than those listed above can be used. Contact the appropriate supervisor for details.
*2 Some types of waste cannot be handled due to their inappropriate properties, condition, and/or components

Leading the world in the utilization of waste plastic for fuel

With the goal to be the first cement maker in Japan to carry out the thermal recycling of waste plastic, in 1999 Tokuyama established a recycled plastic fuel plant capable of shredding 15,000 metric tons of plastic annually. For this initiative, the company successfully developed a safe technique for feeding large volumes of shredded plastic directly into its rotary kilns through the front feed chute. In recognition of this achievement, in 2002 Tokuyama received the Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau Director-General Award, an award for resource recycling technologies and systems sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.

Applying the Yamaguchi Method in Japan's first cement materials business using incineration ash

In 2001, Tokuyama Corporation and Ube Industries, Ltd., established Yamaguchi Eco-Tech Co., Ltd., as a company to recycle incineration ash generated by garbage incineration facilities as a raw material for cement. The new company has become integral to the Yamaguchi Eco-Town Project, an initiative of Yamaguchi Prefecture, as it provides a single location for the preliminary processing of incinerator ash from all incineration facilities in the prefecture. Known as the "Yamaguchi Method," this was the first such prefecture-wide framework in Japan, and has since been adopted around the country. Yamaguchi Eco-Tech removes dioxins and chlorine contained in the incineration ash using a filter press for changing to inorganic sludge.

Establishing waste gypsum board recycling techniques

Tokuyama Chiyoda Gypsum Co., Ltd. commenced operations in 2013, and it is now manufacturing and selling dehydrated gypsum made from waste gypsum board, which is a waste gypsum board recycling business.
Only about 10% of gypsum powder derived from waste gypsum boards can be mixed with the raw materials of conventional gypsum boards. Nevertheless, Tokuyama Chiyoda Gypsum has improved this powder by employing a processing technique that makes the gypsum crystals larger, thereby enabling the production of gypsum powder crystals that have no air gaps. As a result, the powder can be recovered and reused as a raw material for gypsum boards.

For more information:

Recycled Resources Sales Department,
Tokyo Head Office
Tel: +81-3-5207-2518
Fax: +81-3-5207-2575
Recycled Resources Sales Department,
Osaka Office
Tel: +81-6-6201-7206
Fax: +81-6-6201-7229
Recycled Resources Sales Department,
Tokuyama Factory
Tel: +81-834-34-2505
Fax: +81-834-33-3547

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