Impact of the cement industry on the environment and the solutions — SuperTech Fabrics

Sruthi Chopra
SupertechFabrics
Published in
7 min readSep 17, 2023

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SuperTech Fabrics is a second-generation industry amalgam of glass, Teflon, pharmaceutical and chemical companies that have come together with a progressive vision in mind for the Indian industries. Due to our forward-thinking attitude and new-age thinking, the company, which has more than 50 years of industrial expertise, is paving the road for a better and brighter future.

Cement is a crucial component of infrastructure and housing construction and a driver of economic development. Since rapid infrastructure development is a goal of many developing economies and is directly related to cement demand, cement production has increased dramatically. SuperTech Fabrics provides information about the cement industry, its effects, and the appropriate solutions that could help the Indian and global cement industries.

Why is the cement industry considered the most polluting industry?

Did you know that a single group of large-scale cement mills in a state in North India causes 5% of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions? Pollution from the cement industry can have highly negative consequences on human health. The following are some findings of how it affects people and systems created by people:

  • According to the Indian Express, random examinations of employees in Bengal and Tamil Nadu cement plants in India have revealed that one-fifth of the workforce is afflicted by ailments like bronchitis, asthma, and obstructive respiratory disease, among others.
  • In Sri Lanka, which is ecologically and geographically close to India, a recent study indicated that more than 14% of residents who live near cement manufacturers suffer from respiratory illnesses.
  • The economic advantages of decreased PM emissions from the American cement sector were predicted to vary between 0.76 and 3.97 million USD yearly in an intriguing study carried out in the US, according to a WitPress case study. The consequences of such a discovery are clear in India, which produces three times as much cement as the US.

Dust, NOx, SOx, carbon oxides, and methane are the principal pollutants the cement industry produces. A rough estimate of 4,90,000 yearly deaths can be ascribed to emissions from the cement sector, which is the primary source of air pollution.

The Current Landscape of the Cement Industry in India

The Cement industry contributes to nearly 8% of the global carbon footprint. The growth in demand for residential complexes among developed populations and the subsequent increase in construction activity are the primary drivers of the cement business.

With more than 7% of the installed capacity worldwide, India ranks second in cement production after China. Domestic production in 2021 was 294.40 million tons, a 12% year-over-year decline due to the slowing economy. In 2027, cement consumption is anticipated to amount to 419.92 million tons. Consumption will rise due to the surge in demand from industries like home, commercial, and industrial buildings.

China’s requirement for more environmentally friendly cement has dramatically increased carbon emissions. Portland and the World Cement Association have contributed to positive development within the industry. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also stepped out to advocate for several technological advancements and process revolutions in the sector, particularly in India.

The Environmental Impact Of the Cement Industry

With annual emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide over 500,000 tonnes, the cement industry ranks third among industrial polluters. About 5% of all human-made CO2 emissions are produced by the cement industry, with 50% coming from chemical reactions and 40% from fuel combustion. The cement industry releases nearly 900 kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere for every 1000 kg of cement produced.

The quantity of non-renewable resources like limestone is declining due to rising raw material extraction for rising cement production, according to a 2022 research paper in Materials Today Proceedings. Resource extraction activities from the natural environment harm the greenery that serves as the habitat for flora and fauna, increasing the risk of an ecological imbalance.

These priceless resources run the risk of running out if they are harvested continuously. Additionally, the factory’s raw material processing stages discharge dust, noise, and greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, which pollute the environment and exacerbate climate change. These unforeseen environmental problems are detrimental to the human lifestyle.

The Health & Life Impact Of the Cement Industry

The dangers of air pollution to the ecosystem and human health are well understood. The cement business thrives due to infrastructure development efforts, harming global human health. Air quality is negatively impacted by the gaseous and particle emissions from cement factories. It leads to various illnesses, such as:

  • Lung Diseases Like Asthma
  • Bronchitis, Emphysema
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Nervous System Impact

It primarily impacts those working in the industry or factory. However, it also covers the surrounding area and significantly leaves negative impacts. Children and older people, especially those with asthma and heart disease, are also at high risk.

The Role of Particulate Pollution

The cement sector causes about 7% of the world’s carbon emissions. One of the worst types of air pollution in India and across the globe is particle pollution, often known as particulate matter (PM) pollution. Cement is considered one of the most severe pollutants in the world, and cement mills produce incredibly high PM emissions.

There is ample proof that particle pollution, such as the discharge of fly ash and cement from plants, can cause death. Particle pollution can hinder the development and function of the lungs and increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma episodes.

Supertech Fabric’s dust bag filters, Texfil Filtration, are doing tremendous work in controlling the consequences of PM emissions in India. They filter out all the particulate matter and strive to build healthier and safe ecosystems.

The PCA And WCA Solutions

Some individual achievements include Dalmia Cement Bharat Ltd. (India) managing to have the lowest carbon imprint. Meanwhile, many companies are working on eco-friendly alternatives to cement. The two significant proposals were:

  • Carbon Capture: A process where carbon is captured in the facilities before it is emitted into the environment. The captured carbon can be used for other methods.
  • PLC And Other Alternatives: Apart from the typical limestone, new PLC (Portland Limestone Cement) has gained approval, reducing carbon footprint by 10% in cement manufacturing. Other solutions like Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3) are also under development.

What are some Green Initiatives the Indian Cement Industry has adopted recently?

The Role of the Indian Government

Manufacturing cement in India has made it a leader in the world for social and environmental responsibility. India is well on track to reach its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets and remain in compliance with the Paris Agreement, mainly due to efforts made by critical industries like cement. With the successful separation, treatment, and processing of municipal and industrial waste, the Indian Cement Industry has been able to replace 4% of its fuel consumption.

In a recent report, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) pushed for technological intervention to reduce these carbon emissions from the cement industry, which will assist India in reaching its net-zero emission goals. The RBI has advocated increased funding for environmentally friendly, long-term solutions through low-interest loans and active collaboration with top universities and nations driving green technology innovation in the cement sector.

The new reforms from RBI urge cement industries to take it to the next step where:

  • Carbon capture will take priority in various forms.
  • Green Energy Sources like biogas and biomass from wastelands will power the facilities.
  • Choosing new sites or relocating older sites to prevent biodiversity impact would also take priority.

Reducing carbon emissions using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) could be crucial in the fight against global warming. It involves capturing the carbon dioxide produced by power plants or other industrial processes, such as steel or cement, transferring it, and then storing it underground.

RBI and other research bodies have discovered that the leading cause for the carbon imprint, other than the manufacturing process, is the use of fossil fuels. Therefore, the government and RBI are working to produce new and empowering schemes to promote green energy sources. It will become a huge turning point for the cement industry, as India is already making significant progress.

SuperTech Fabric’s Contributions

SuperTech Fabrics is working towards positively impacting the environment, energy sectors and all kinds of life forms. Their current products include:

  • Textrov: Performance Technical Textile
  • Texfil Filtration: Industrial Filtration
  • Texflex: Flexible Expansion Joints
  • Texgaurd: Flange Guards and Spray Protectors
  • Tufftek Protectors: Protective Gear and Apparel

SuperTech Fabrics is also working on other ends to bring quick reforms and solutions, for instance, the carbon capture process. This could spell a positive reform and better growth of the Indian Industry in the coming years. Our top priorities for its clients are exceptional quality and sophisticated design. The goal is to offer a high-quality alternative and jump-start quality-focused production techniques in India for the textile industry.

Why should you choose SuperTech Fabrics?

SuperTech Fabrics employees are driven, committed, and accountable for maintaining high standards. Our company’s philosophy is to provide a healthy work environment that produces innovative, high-quality products. As a result, all the items are guaranteed to be incredibly robust and withstand the test of time.

SuperTech Fabrics does not support giving in or taking the easy way out. The value of shared responsibility underpins the team’s operation. Every team member is constantly driven to produce better work and strive for competitive quality. A refined product that is brilliant in its technology, design, and quality is what is intended to be delivered to the customers.

India’s protection and filtration industries will undoubtedly be revolutionised by their products, which will also strongly advocate Indian manufacturing to the rest of the world. Sustainability, shared responsibility, and competitive quality are its guiding principles, inspiring innovation and positive social impact.

Our company stands out because of our ecological supply chain as well. This indicates that the business has effectively incorporated moral and ethical standards into the production and marketing of its products. SuperTech Fabrics also draws interest from the techno-commercial group of industries due to total control over the supply chain and end-to-end control over the mechanical and thermal qualities of the medium.

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