Energy Efficient Quarry
The non-metallic extractive industry involves both high energy consumption and large CO2 emissions. Consequently the economic incentives for energy-efficiency measures have the magnitude and quick payback to encourage industry-wide adoption. The Energy Efficient Quarry (EE-Quarry) Project has developed a software model, the EE-Quarry model, which supports scenario-based optimisation of energy use and carbon emission.
The EE-QUARRY project arises from the necessity to control high energy processes and large CO2 emissions in the non metallic aggregate industries.
Given the market size, ample resources and stable growth potential of this industry, the understanding and dissemination of energy efficiency opportunities is paramount for European energy efficiency goals. Furthermore, since there are several thousands of quarrying facilities throughout Europe, there is a huge opportunity for the energy efficiency measures identified by this project to be replicated throughout the EU, and worldwide.
This project has reviewed the rock extraction and production processes with the aim to analyse the energy use in individual processes of rock drilling & blasting, loading & hauling and rock crushing & screening. Standard building energy efficiency measures such as lighting retrofits and support system optimization have insignificant impacts on overall quarry energy use. The identification of energy opportunities thus relies heavily on system optimization. System optimization not only encourages energy efficiency, but typically benefits production as well.
We have worked in quarries across Europe to test and demonstrate the applicability of a wide range of energy-efficiency techniques. Resulting from this we have developed the EE-Quarry model, a software system which models overall energy use in multiple quarry processes and supports scenario-based optimisation of the whole quarry.
Once the quarry plant arrives to the end of its life cycle, many CO2 neutralizing activities may take place. Another goal is to generate energy efficiency opportunities and CO2 reducing activities to compensate for the environmental impact the quarrying process creates throughout its life cycle.
The economic incentives for energy efficiency measures in this industry have the magnitude and quick payback to facilitate industry-wide replication.