Document Type : Original Article
Tabbin Institute for Metallurgical Studies (TIMS), Energy and Environment Research Center (E2RC), Iron and Steel St., El Tabbin, Cairo-Egypt, P.O. 109 Helwan-11421
Air Pollution Research Department, Environment and Climate Change Research Institute, National Research Centre, El Behoos St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt
Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, P.O. 11795, Cairo, Egypt
The cement industry is prospering in the Middle East countries, especially in Egypt due to the presence of raw materials, as well as increasing population growth in the region and increasing cement demand. Without activating and applying the regulations and laws, which enforced by local government to ensure compliance with national and international standards upon this industry, the increase of cement factories and complementary units in the region may damage air quality and threaten the ecosystems. This paper deals with the monitoring of the ambient pollutants surrounding 21 cement factories during the 2017 year: carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), and particulate matter (TSP, PM10, and PM2.5) emitted from the cement production processing. Air pollutants around the cement plants were determined using appropriate sampling techniques according to international standard methods. Results indicated that particulate matter concentrations were higher than all permissible guidelines for ambient air quality. Carbon monoxide concentrations of all sites were lower than permissible limits, while recorded gases concentrations (NO2, SO2, O3) in some sites were comply with those limits. High concentrations of particulate matter at all sites could be attributed to the applied processes for cement production, such as raw materials mining, transportation, blending, quarrying, preparation, and stockpiles. Moreover, kilns operation, clinker cooling, and milling processes were responsible for gases and particulates emission operations. The results indicated also that exhaust emissions were attributed to the type of fuel used and coal is responsible for the production of most pollutants while natural gas produced the least amount of pollution. The use of clean fuel with ideal combustion techniques and the application of interlocking mechanisms to all processes are recommended for the cement manufacturers in Egypt to reduce adverse emissions to the environment.