Sunday, January 06, 2008



On the Agency WIMBY web site you can see various "actual measurements", "calculations", and "estimations", of the "main" pollutants emitted from the MAIN STACK at Cemex Rugby, presumably discounting the main health damaging pollutant of PARTICULATE PM10, which has been of much concern to Rugby residents and to health professionals. The "Cement and Lime Activities Guidance Note PI-CEML-yv071" has been issued to the industry to help them to fill in the forms, as required by the EU, in the correct manner. However there exists much "uncertainty" as to how these figures have been arrived at - and we are left wondering as to the purpose, accuracy and reliability of these figures. Meanwhile the British Cement Association is protesting against the 67% increase in charges to be imposed by the Environment Agency as it gains about £3 million from the EU ETS, with presumably 60 EA staff working full time on this issue alone. See Charges Consultation 2007/08.

CARBON DIOXIDE has more than doubled, (quadrupled since 1999), and in 2006 has been split into two parts - 471,000 tonnes of "thermal" and 604,000 tonnes "chemical" - whereas in 2000 they state they have emitted only 500,000 tonnes - double that of the old plant! But other pollutants do not appear to have increased by the same ratio - suggesting something is possibly "wrong" with the reporting? They have evolved a new method of reporting the pollutants in a "random order" instead of by alphabetical listings. Carbon monoxide seems to have disappeared all together! The old plant can be traced under AH8697. AMMONIA appears steady at about 6 tonnes.

about increased number and duration of apparently "detached plumes", which by nature form after they are released from the stack, which is very worrying? We have requested information about the time and duration of any trials, tests and changes that have been carried out at the plant during December 2007 as permitted by the Agency such as the use of AMMONIA to reduce nitrogen dioxide, and clay-substitute trials.

"For condensable PM and detached plumes - which by nature form after they are released from the stack, BLDS and PM CEMS are meaningless. Measuring precursors (SO2, NOx, THC) would probably be more sensitive and certainly VEs would be more cost effective. Although reading detached plumes (especially since they are usually combined with steam plumes) is EVEN MORE SUBJECTIVE than reading an attached plume."

"Cement plants, are sometime afflicted with a "detached plume" meaning that detectable emissions do not form until after exhaust leaves the smoke stack.
Chemicals in the plume don't combine to create a problem until after leaving the stack, so sensors inside the stack can't detect the problem.
This often occurs due to changes in the ore and other raw materials used to make cement. The ultimate cause can only be determined through exhaustive and expensive testing. Testing of the plume by the company so far shows the plume contains ammonia, sulfates, chlorides, all potentially harmful to the public under the wrong conditions."

"With an SNCR control NOX is reacted with ammonia or urea in an environment with a specific temperature range and for a sufficient residence time. The effective temperature range for SNCR is approximately 100-2000F. For a preheater/calciner system this would occur in a zone near the lowest stage of the preheater tower.
Below the effective temperature ammonia present in the gas stream does not react and "AMMONIA SLI " occurs. Likewise if excessive quantities of ammonia/urea are injected some pass through un-reacted and cause ammonia slip. Either case will result in a release of ammonia from the stack that could result in producing a detached plume, causing an opacity compliance issue. If injection occurs at temperatures above the effective range, ammonia present in the gas stream will react to form additional NOX, and NOx emissions may increase."

Are stuck between a rock and a hard place, yet again! They are disputing with Cemex over various issue including the Western Relief Road, which we recall was prevented from being built in 2000 by the intervention of Rugby Cement and ex MP Andy King who said they wanted to re-open the rail link to the Southam clay quarries, (because they have NO RAW MATERIAL in Rugby) removing about 70 HGVs a day from the villages - about 10% of the TOTAL LORRIES!

Now it is a question of whether the new SILO for the EXPORT/IMPORT of clinker needs a planning application under the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1995 - or not? And also what about the new conveyors, docking station, etc for the burning of household waste? And also what about the STORAGE of the large quantities of INDUSTRIAL WASTE which have been substituted for raw materials, on the site, without any European Waste Codes or publicly available information about the nature, quantity, and likely/possible impact of these wastes on local air quality and health?
The Environment Agency will not answer any questions about these wastes - so who is responsible for the turning of Rugby into a WASTE DUMP without apparently any planning permission or IPPC Permit? And not to mention the words PUBLIC CONSULTATION!

This new 1.2 million tonne per annum facility, (opening summer 2008) according to Paul Fletcher UK Environment Manager: "is ideally positioned for shipping in the half a million tonnes of SLAG it will require per year for the production of CEM3." The CEM3 blended cement product uses 50% clinker - compared to 95% (??) used in the previous blends, which will reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% for each tonne of cement produced.

"The 600,000 TONNES CLINKER will be transported by ROAD from the RUGBY CO-INCINERATOR plant." Is that extra clinker - or instead of that they make into cement at Rugby?

Sensitive lorry miles - what are they?


schermbeck said...

Lilian -

We're big fans of yours in Texas. Just in case you have not had a chance to check out two sites we have on cement plant science and politcs: - is the organizational site.

Then there's a completely gatekeeper-free Yahoo site devoted to being a repository for important documents in our fight -

Anyone can join and anyone can post. The membership is small but spread out over the entire country.

Thank you for your devotion to the cause.

Jim Schermbeck
Downwinders At Risk
Dallas-Ft. Worth Texas
Home of the largest concentration of cement manufacturing in the US

Helena said...

I think it's brilliant what you're doing.

Since I moved to Rugby from North London 3 years ago, I have been plagued with medical conditions (including an incredible amount of colds/flu viruses) and the only answer for it I can find is that the air quality here is not as good thanks to the cement works. Coughs, colds, and chest infections are now part of everyday life for me.

I really hope you get people to stand up and notice what's going wrong here.

Anonymous said...

Whats the signifcance of a detached plume? Not heard of that before?

Anonymous said...

I stubbed my toe pretty hard last night, cemex really have got something to answer for!!