Environmental Protection

Pa. OKs Injector Technology for Cement Kiln

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southcentral Regional Director Rachel Diamond announced on March 10 that the agency has approved a new technology for use by Lehigh Cement Co. that will reduce the company's ozone-contributing emissions.

The department's air quality program issued Lehigh Cement a permit recently to install selective non-catalytic reduction injectors on its two cement kilns. The injectors break down nitrogen oxides.

"Nitrogen oxide is a contributor to ozone pollution, which can affect the health of young children, the elderly, and people with respiratory problems," said Diamond. "This installation will allow for early reductions in this pollutant and test a new system to ensure that it will meet future limits."

Diamond added that the project is believed to be the first time this technology has been used on a cement kiln in the United States.

The cement manufacturing facility near Reading voluntarily submitted the plan a year before new state nitrogen oxide regulations for cement manufacturing plants may go into effect.

The project, once fully implemented, could result in nitrogen oxide emission reductions of close to 700 tons per year from the two kilns. It will also reduce the amount of fine particulate emissions released into the atmosphere.

Lehigh submitted the application to DEP on Nov. 18. Because of the project's environmental benefits, the department expedited its review in order to meet Lehigh's tight construction schedule. DEP found the application to be technically sound.

Some of the work can only be done during Lehigh's kiln outage, already in progress. The company said that if approval was not given by March 9, it would be forced to postpone the project until 2010.

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