Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Co-processing

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) can be used at cement plants to substitute fossil fuels.  In most cases, this also offers a better waste management alternative as the temperatures and retention times in the cement kiln are high enough to eliminate problems, such as those related to dioxins and furans.  

In order to be effectively utilsed as alternative fuel, burnable waste needs to be collected, sorted and size adjusted (In most of the developed countries, such activities are the responsibility of local municipalities or governments).  Depending on the characteristics of the RDF and plant design, this RDF can then be fed into the kiln or the calciner.  It needs to be noted that certain constituents, such as chlorine, needs to be controlled in order to avoid adverse impacts on the product quality and production processes.  

Development Status Products
clinker, Cement

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Co-processingCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: Use of Alternative Fuels
Energy Savings Potential

For every ton of RDF, fossil fuels corresponding to 15 to 19 GJ can be saved. 

CO2 Emission Reduction Potential

For every ton of RDF, following amounts of CO2 reductions can be realized due to avoided coal burning:

Chinese flag 1.42 – 1.80 ton

Indian flag 1.48 – 1.88 ton

US flag 1.17 – 1.48 ton


Japanese flag In Japan, installation costs for facilities to process 10 t/d of RDF were reported to be approximately US $650 thousand (1US$=¥110). 

The economics of RDF usage can be significantly influenced by the availability and level of gate fees. 

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Co-processingSchematic

Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Co-processing Publications

Energy Efficiency and Resource Saving Technologies in Cement Industry


This Cement technologies booklet was compiled by the APP Cement Task Force (CTF) through one of its activities to help its member countries share information on all available energy efficient technologies generally used in the world’s cement industry. The document offers a comprehensive compilation of commercially-available energy efficient technologies used in the cement industry.

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