• A

    Acid rain
    Acid rain is a phenomenon whereby the acidity level of the rain increases because of some polluting gas emitted in the atmosphere. It is particularly dangerous for the ecosystem of lakes, waterways and forests and for the plants and animals.

    Raw granular particulate mineral materials used in construction that may be natural, artificial, or recycled from materials previously used in construction. They are used in construction primarily as components of composite materials, such as concrete mixes, bituminous mixes, and plasters. The EN 12620 standard defines the aggregates to be used for making concrete in relation to their granulometry.

    Alternative raw materials
    By-products or selected wastes that can be reused, instead of other raw materials, in production processes. This can be either substituting raw materials (with adequate chemical composition) or fuel taking advantage of the cement process (high temperature, high retention time, absorption of ashes in cement).

  • B

    BAT - Best Available Techniques
    Best available techniques, i.e. the technical and / or organizational measures considered for industrial operations for the pollution prevention and control. For the production of cement, they are defined in the BREF document produced by the European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau (EIPPCB) at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre – Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), regularly updated.

    Variety of living formulas, species, organisms in an environment, result of the evolutionary process, guarantee of stability and index of the ecological value of an environment.

    Non-fossil materials of biological origin - residues of agricultural and forestry origin, secondary products and waste from the agri-food industry - which can be used to produce energy and thus reduce dependence on fossil sources such as oil. Biomass is considered as neutral in CO2 emissions as the cycle time to absorb CO2 is relatively short (e.g. a tree would take a few years to absorb the amount of CO2 that it would produce once burnt).

  • C

    Calorific replacement
    The use of alternative fuels (CDR, waste oils, animal meal) substituting traditional fuels with savings of energy resources from non-renewable sources and the reducing of pollution.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2)
    Oxide acid (anhydride) formed by a carbon atom bound to two oxygen atoms. Colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, heavier than air, which is formed in all the processes of combustion, respiration, decomposition of organic material, due to the total oxidation of the carbon and, in the cement industry, the limestone decarbonization. It is an essential substance in the life processes of plants and animals, but it is also responsible for the increase in global warming. Carbon dioxide, transparent to sunlight, absorbs infrared radiation emitted by the earth's surface, causing the so-called "greenhouse effect". The cement process is emitting CO2 from two sources: the calcination of raw materials (mainly limestone) and the combustion of fuels for heat production.

    Natural process according to which a material or a living species absorb atmospheric CO2 during the life cycle, increasing its environmental sustainability over the useful life of the product. This is also the case for concrete. From the chemical point of view, carbonation is the reaction between calcium oxide (CaO), an alkaline product of hardened concrete and CO2. The reaction results in the formation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3): CaO + CO2 = CaCO3 (limestone).

    European Cement Association based in Brussels.

    Hydraulic binder holding together other minerals, granules and other constituent parts of the rocks. When mixed with water, it reacts giving rise to a plastic mass that gradually hardens. Different types of cement can be produced according to the desired characteristics and performance using different raw materials and fineness. Cement is the main component of concrete and is the most used building material in the world, with billions of tons sold every year. White cement of which Cementir Group is world leader, is a product with very specific characteristics including whiteness. Its production process is slightly different from gray cement as it requires a rigorous raw materials selection and some variations in the process such as a different cooling/quenching. White cement is a niche market as world production is around 20Mton per annum.

    Clastic sedimentary rock consisting predominantly of minute colloidal particles of hydrated aluminum silicates associated with very fine sandy debris. It is used in the cement process to bring some of the necessary component such as silica, alumina.

    Semi-finished granulated material with hydraulic behavior deriving from the cooking of calcareous marl at high temperatures or from a mixture of limestone and clay. It appears as a granulated material. It is produced in the kiln and then used as the main component in cement. with the addition of gypsum or anhydrite and other materials and subsequent grinding.

    Clinker Ratio
    Measurement of the clinker content in different types of cement.

    CO2 – Carbon dioxide
    See Carbon dioxide.

    Solid fuel, rich in carbon, derived from the decomposition in the absence of air of organic substances, mostly vegetable. The decomposition can be spontaneous (natural coal) or caused by heating (artificial coal).

    Chemical reaction of a fuel with an oxidizing agent, often with emission of carbon oxides, water vapor and thermal energy. In the cement production process, the combustion takes place in the clinker kiln.

    The most common construction material used on Earth. From the mixing of aggregates, water, cement, additives and other additions a paste is created that is malleable for a short period and is transported, generally in a cement mixer, to the construction site to make any type of structure after it has hardened. The almost unlimited combination of components allows us to guarantee an infinite number of performances both fresh and after hardening. Beside durability, concrete is a material that is very flexible in its usage and resistant to acid, sulfate, fire.

    Continuous improvement
    Management system based on the idea of systematically looking for ways to improve the way of working to attain optimum performances. It can be supported by statistical methods to optimize efficiency and minimize waste in any process so as to improve performance better and make it more progressive and continuous.

    Industrial process in which the size of the subject matter of the crushing is reduced, for example of that extracted from the quarries. The rocks are crushed to a size that is compatible with the subsequent process phases (e.g. grinding).

  • D

    Class of chlorinated aromatic organic compounds (more than 200), mostly of anthropogenic origin. Dioxins are low volatile compounds due to their high molecular weight and are fat soluble. Due to these characteristics they tend to accumulate in living tissues. Some dioxins are particularly toxic to humans and the environment. They are compounds that are regularly controlled at the emission stacks of industrial sites such as cement plants.

  • E

    Characteristic deriving from processes designed to minimize or eliminate the negative impact on the environment due to a specific activity. It also refers to the responsibility, in human actions, towards the environment and its resources. For products it can refer to their long-term cycle such as LCA (life-cycle analysis) which takes into account the entire life of a product from production, usage to disposal.

    EMAS - Eco-Management and Audit Scheme
    Voluntary scheme created by the European Community which can be joined voluntarily by organizations (companies, public bodies, etc.) to assess and improve their environmental performance and provide the public and other interested parties with information on their environmental management. The main aim of EMAS is to help create sustainable economic development, highlighting the role and responsibilities of businesses. To obtain (and maintain) the EMAS certification (registration), organizations must subject their environmental management system to a compliance assessment by an accredited auditor, and have the same auditor validate their EMAS Environmental Statement (and its updates, usually every year).

    Discharge of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance introduced into the ecosystem, which can directly or indirectly impact the environment. In cement production, emissions are regulated, reported and monitored on a continuous basis.
    Specifically, for CO2
    "Scope 1" emissions: these are all direct emissions from the company's sources or those controlled by the company.
    "Scope 2" emissions: these are the indirect emissions of the company, i.e. those related to the purchase of energy from sources controlled by another subject (e.g. electricity).
    "Scope 3" emissions: other indirect emissions (e.g. emissions along the supply chain).

    Energy saving
    Effect of measures taken by energy producers and users to limit energy consumption by improving energy efficiency (obtaining the same product with less energy) and using the most appropriate energy source for the final use required. This can take place in two forms: one is to reduce the actual energy consumption for a given process, one is to find a way to reuse waste heat produced (e.g. to dry other raw materials, to produce electricity, to provide heat to the community).

    Set of chemical-physical characteristics (abiotic factors) and biological (biotic factors) of the context in which an organism is inserted or a company operates. Overall, the environment includes air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, human beings and their interrelations.

    Environmental certification
    Certificate issued by accredited third-party auditors attesting to the compliance of the Environmental Management System adopted with a reference standard. Environmental certification can refer to international standards (such as ISO 14001) or European standards (such as EMAS Regulation).

    Acronym (USA): Environmental Protection Agency.

    Acronym: Environmental Product Declaration. The Environmental Product Declaration is a communication tool created to develop environmentally sustainable products. EPDs are documents or information, that are not product specifications (they do not contain usage recommendation or expected performance). Their objectives are: the dissemination of detailed and verifiable information relating to environmental aspects, the encouragement for the demand and supply of ecologically preferable products and the promotion of environmental improvement.

    Acronym of Emissions Trading System. It’s a cornerstone of the EU's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. It is the world's first major carbon market (CO2). The EU ETS works on the 'cap and trade' principle. A cap is set on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations covered by the system. The cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances, which they can trade with one another as needed. They can also buy limited amounts of international credits from emission-saving projects around the world. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value. After each year a company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances. Trading brings flexibility that ensures emissions are cut where it costs least to do so.

  • F

    Fossil fuel
    Product resulting from the transformations of biological material that has been decomposing for millions of years. Fossil fuels are natural gas, coal, oil and pet-coke which is derived from crude oil.

    Frequency Rate (LTI FR)
    Occupational Health and Safety indicator. Number of work-related injuries per hours worked (e.g. per millions of hours worked).

    Acronym. Full Time Equivalent. Indicator that identifies workers on a full-time basis or those who perform work for a total of 40 hours per week (as per National Collective Labor Agreements).

  • G

    Grams per tonne of cement equivalent.

    Greenhouse effect
    Physical phenomenon which consists in the trapping in the atmosphere of part of the energy coming from the surface of the Earth, which otherwise would be lost in space. It depends on the presence of some gases in the atmosphere the so-called greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) perfluorocarbons (PFC), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases, at adequate concentrations, allow to maintain a suitable temperature on the Earth. Anthropic activities can lead to an increase in the presence of these gases in the atmosphere giving rise in the medium term to global warming (greenhouse affect) and the consequent climate changes.

    Acronym. Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) is the independent, international organization that helps businesses and other organizations take responsibility for their impacts, by providing them with the global common language to communicate those impacts. GRI provides the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting – the GRI Standards. This initiative was actively supported by representatives of the business world, non-profit groups, auditors and investor organizations, trade unions and others.

    GRI Reporting Framework
    The GRI Reporting Framework aims to provide a generally recognized framework for reporting economic, environmental and social performance. The Framework includes the Guidelines for sustainability reporting, Indicator Protocols, Technical Protocols and Sector Supplements.

    Industrial process aimed at crushing a solid material, of any nature, reducing it to the state of dust, granules or semi-fluid paste in the order of microns. In cement process it takes place at several steps of the process: grinding raw materials to produce raw meal to feed the kiln, grinding clinker and other raw materials to produce cement, grinding fuel for injection in the kiln. There are several grinding technologies, the main ones being: vertical roller mill, roller press, ball mill.

  • H

    Health and Safety certification
    Certificate issued by accredited third-party auditors attesting to the compliance of the Health and Safety Management System adopted with a reference standard. Health and safety certification refers to international standards such as ISO 45001.

    Hydraulic Binders
    Minerals that mixed with water harden progressively forming in this way solid bodies capable of expressing resistances typical of stronger rocks. Cement is an hydraulic binder.

  • I

    Work-related event due to unexpected and violent cause that determines partial or total inability to work or in the most severe case the death. Commuting injuries are excluded.

    ISO 14001
    Voluntary international standard, which establishes the requirements of the environmental management system. ISO 14001 is a certifiable standard, which means that certification of compliance with its requirements can be obtained from an accredited certification auditor. ISO 14001 certification is not mandatory but is the result of a voluntary choice by a company / organization that decides to establish / implement / maintain / improve its environmental management system. The adoption of the ISO 14001 standard allows an organization to identify and monitor the impact of its activities on the environment and improve its environmental performance by implementing a systematic approach that provides for the definition and achievement of specific environmental objectives.

    ISO 9001
    Voluntary international standard which establishes the requirements of the quality management system.

    ISO 45001
    Voluntary international standard, which establishes the requirements of the occupational health and safety management system must meet. ISO 45001 is a certifiable standard, which means that certification of compliance with its requirements can be obtained from an accredited certification agency auditor. ISO 45001 certification is not mandatory but is the result of a voluntary choice by a company / organization that decides to establish / implement / maintain / improve its occupational health and safety management system. The adoption of the ISO 45001 standard allows an organization to identify and monitor the impact of its activities on the health and safety and improve its performance by implementing a systematic approach that provides for the definition and achievement of specific health and safety objectives.

    ISO 50001
    Voluntary international standard which establishes the requirements for the creation, implementation, maintenance and improvement of an energy management system. The purpose of this system is to enable an organization to use a systematic approach to continuously improve its energy performance, including energy efficiency, as well as energy consumption and use.


  • J

    Unit of measurement of energy (one joule is the work required to exert a force of one newton for a distance of one meter). A gigajoule (Gj) is equal to 1 * 109 joules, while a terajoule (TJ) is equal to 1 * 1012 joules.
    The thermal energy can also be expressed in kCal (1kcal = 4.18J).

  • K

    The rotary kiln consists of steel tube covered with refractory bricks. The tube is tilted slightly (1–4°) and rotates slowly on its axis between 30 and 250 rpm. The kiln is fed from the upper end with the Raw Mix which the rotation of the oven gradually moves downwards. At the other end the fuel is burned, in the form of gas or pulverized solid fuel. When the material moves under the flame, it reaches its peak temperature, before descending into the cooling device. The air is sucked first through the radiator and then through the furnace for fuel combustion.

    Kyoto Protocol
    Voluntary agreement that arises from the United Nations World Conference on Climate Change (1997) by virtue of which the industrialized countries commit themselves to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels.

  • L

    Limestone (CaCO3)
    Rock made up of Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3 ). We can distinguish limestones of sedimentary and metamorphic origin. Limestones can often contain other minerals such as siliceous and arenaceous limestones.

    LTI FR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate)
    Please see Frequency Rate.

    LTI SR (Lost Time Injury Severity Rate)
    Please see Severity Rate.

  • M

    Management System
    Set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies, objectives and processes to achieve those objectives. A management system can address a single discipline or several disciplines (e.g., health and safety, quality, environment, energy). The system elements include the organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, planning and operation, performance evaluation and improvement.

    Fine-grained gray-yellowish sedimentary rock formed by limestone and clay. Marne is a natural material that is almost readily usable to produce cement or lime without need for correctives. 

    MIC (Mineral Components)
    Acronym. Mineral components with suitable characteristics (CaO, SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O4) that, in relation to the cement production process, can be used in partial replacement of the clinker contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The mineral component can be either coming from natural resources (e.g., pozzolane, clay) or as a by-product of other industrial activities (e.g., slag from the steel industry, fly ash from power plant).

    mg / Nm3 
    Unit of measurement of concentration that is used for atmospheric macro pollutants; indicates the milligrams of substances present in a cubic meter of gas at standard conditions (0°C of temperature and 1.013 bar of pressure).

    The distinction with the quarry is based on the type of material extracted. For mines we talk about 1st cat material (e.g., cement marl). However, in the cement industry the term of quarry is widely used whether it is a mine or a quarry.

    Set of activities aimed at quantifying the parameters that indicate the status of an industrial process. It can be referred to the environment (air, water bodies, subsoil), to the safety (incidents, injuries, near miss), quality (cement performance) or process.

  • N

    Near miss
    A Near miss is an incident where no injury and/or ill health occurred but had the potential to do so (the most severe case is called HIPO – High Potential to result in permanent disability or death).

    Acronym. Non-Governmental Organization.

    Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
    Gases produced, among other things, due to oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen or nitrogen contained in fuels. Nitrogen oxides can act on the airways synergistically with other gases and participate as "precursors" in the formation of photochemical oxidants (ozone, organic peroxides). They are, after sulfur dioxide, the most widespread and aggressive air pollutants rising the so-called "acid rains". NOx occurs during combustion. Cement kiln are usually setting measures to control NOx emission either through primary measures or abatement (e.g., SNCR processes).

  • O

    Ozone (O3)
    Unstable gas whose molecule consists of three oxygen atoms. It has strong oxidizing power. It plays an important role in the radiant balance of the atmosphere.

  • P

    Pet coke
    Carbonaceous product obtained from mineral oils by thermal splitting. As such it is a product of the oil industry. It is considered as a traditional fossil fuel and is widely used in the cement industry.

    Powder is a generic name attributed to matter subdivided into very small particles with a diameter of approximately 0.25 to 500 µm. Dusts suspended in the air (atmospheric dust) have significant effects on the climate, the trend of radioactivity and human health.

    Natural materials consisting of volcanic or sedimentary deposits that, thanks to a mineralogical composition rich in SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3 and other oxides, have hydraulic properties.

    Prebatched or premix
    Cement products, especially mortars, consisting of mixtures of cement and aggregates dosed and packaged in proportions suitable for specific uses such as internal or external finishes to complete works of a more structural nature. Such product thus only needs water addition in right quantity to become ready to use.

  • Q

    A quarry is a field in the process of exploitation, that is a portion of territory in which raw materials have been identified that can be used for industrial purposes. The distinction between quarry and mine is determined by the category of material extracted: for quarries we speak of 2nd cat materials (e.g., limestone, clay, gravel, sand).

  • R

    RDF (Refuse-Derived Fuel)
    Dry shredded solid fuel obtained from the processing of solid urban waste, generally collected in cylindrical blocks known as eco-bales.

    It occurs naturally in all concrete structures, whereby CO2 is absorbed and captured into the concrete and permanently bound both during the working life of a concrete structure and more rapidly after demolition because of the greater surface exposed to the ambient air.  Re-carbonation typically allows up to 4% of CO2 reduction by mass but increases up to 25% during demolition and storage prior to re-use.    

    Recycled concrete
    Recycled concrete is able to absorb up to 25% CO2 within the concrete paste due to exposure to ambient air.  This process can be accelerated by using the exhaust gases from a cement kiln which have a higher CO2 content thereby increasing the CO2 captured up to 50%.

    Rotary Kiln
    Please see Kiln.

  • S

    Severity Rate (LTI SR)
    Occupational Health and Safety indicator. Working days of absence due to a work-related injuries per hours worked (e.g., per thousands of hours worked).

    Granulated slag from steel industry in the blast furnaces (hence the acronym GBFS: granulated blast furnace slag), composed of complex silicates of aluminum, calcium and magnesium and, in small quantities, from manganese oxides, iron oxides and calcium sulfide. By virtue of the hydraulic properties they process, they are used as a clinker additive in the production of cement.

    SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel)
    Dry shredded solid fuel obtained from the treatment of solid urban waste compliant with the European standard EN 15359. Fuel obtained from the dry component (paper, plastic, textile fibers, etc.) of solid urban and similar waste, after a special separation/processing treatment from the fractions destined for another type of recovery. Subsequent processing cycles guarantee an adequate calorific value and reduce the presence of metallic material, glass, aggregates, putrescible material and dangerous substances for combustion purposes. By its nature (high temperature, high retention time, absorption of ashes in cement), the cement process offers adequate conditions for the use of such fuel prepared to substitute traditional fuels such as coal, pet-coke, natural gas. These alternative fuels can also contain biomass, providing an opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions. The use of this fuel in a cement plant is done under a specific permit and under strict quality and environmental controls. .

    Interest bearers who for various reasons interact with the business of the company, participating in the results, influencing their performance, assessing their economic, social and environmental impact. They can be customers, suppliers, shareholders, the local community in which the plant operates, the authorities, the employees, etc.

    Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
    Gas present in emissions from the use of fuels containing sulfur, usually derived from petroleum or coal. In some cases, it may come from the raw materials used.

  • T

    TCE (Tonne(s) of Cement Equivalent)
    Indicator related to the production of the clinker plant, calculated based on the clinker produced and the average clinker / cement ratio for the year.

  • W

    Waste water
    Waste water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities. Waste water can be discharged into the external environment in compliance with the extent permitted by applicable laws, after an appropriate treatment.

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