Brian McGrath - OLM Technical Services
"A really significant breakthrough that works for all parties involved"
Brian McGrath previously worked in the cement industry and was specifically responsible for managing waste to energy projects at Boral Cement. Today he is director of OLM Technical Services, which consults to companies recovering wastes for reuse in the cement industry. As one of Regain’s foundation customers, he explains what he calls the “Regain Solution”.
“Despite many attempts to develop a solution, the management of wastes produced by the aluminum industry has been viewed as intractable,” Brian says. “The emergence of the cement kiln as an end use for this material has been embraced by Regain.
‘The Regain Solution’ not only manages the waste for the aluminium industry but enhances the sustainability of the cement industry through process efficiency and product quality gains.”
Brian goes on further to explain why a solution was needed in the first place.
“The Regain Solution takes a waste of highly variable composition with extreme environmental and occupational health and safety issues associated with its handling and storage and converts it into a quality controlled product that can be safely used by the cement industry,” he says. “It is a really significant breakthrough that works for all parties involved.”
Brian says that the impact of the “Regain Solution” is multi-layered and quite specific to an individual plant’s raw material chemistry and kiln configuration, however the minimum outcome is that it provides a lower cost alternative fuel to replace coal and natural gas.
As well as cost, Brian says another advantage of using the “Regain Solution” is the standard of the cement being produced, which in turn lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
“In the appropriate plant setting, it provides an opportunity to reduce the operating temperature of the cement kiln and improve cement quality,” he says. “The lower temperature reduces fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The improved cement quality increases the cement strength enabling greater use of cement extenders like fly ash, slag and limestone and further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”
As a strategic adviser to Regain, one of Brian’s duties is to assist new cement customers with the introduction of Regain products into their process, so he therefore sees their response firsthand.
“The measure of a customer’s satisfaction with the Regain Solution is an eagerness to conduct further trials with Regain products at other plants and integrate the Regain Solution into their business model,” he says. “They see the worth.”