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Mark D. Mirolli
Chief Technology Officer
Recurrent Resources, LLC


Cement production is one of the most energy intensive industrial processes in the world. In many world
regions, energy cost is 50% to 60% of the direct production cost of cement. Energy cost is incurred due
to the need for large quantities of thermal heat for the kiln, calcination and drying processes and electrical
energy for operation of motors for grinding mills, fans, conveyers and other motor driven process

The Kalina Cycle® utilizes the waste heat from the cement production process to generate electrical
energy with no additional fuel consumption, and reduces the cost of electric energy for cement
production. The thermal efficiency improvement of the Kalina Cycle is 20% to 40% in comparison with
conventional waste heat power plants that utilize the hot gases available in a cement plant.

A Kalina Cycle power plant offers the best environmentally friendly alternative for power generation from
low-grade waste heat. It maximizes kW-hrs generated using a closed loop system to recover heat for
electricity production without hazard to the environment. The Kalina Cycle uses a mixture of ammonia
and water as its working fluid; a common solution used extensively world wide for refrigeration plants. In
the event of an accidental release, ammonia is considered a biodegradable fluid. It does not contribute to
photochemical smog, global pollution or global warming; and will not deplete the ozone layer. Its use as
an industrial fluid is well documented with a proven track record for safety in industrial plants.

This paper is a summary of Kalina Cycle Technology for cement plant waste heat applications. Specific
plant designs are referenced to present a summary of the power plant systems and to describe the
financial advantages of the Kalina Cycle waste heat power plant to the cement plant owner.


In many countries, energy costs represent the largest component of direct production cost for cement.
Energy cost represents as much as 50% to 60% of cement direct production cost. Energy cost is
incurred due to the need for large quantities of thermal heat for the kiln, calcination and drying processes
and electrical energy for operation of motors for grinding mills, fans, conveyers and other motor driven
equipment. Although the fuel use and energy use will depend on the type of process, equipment and
system efficiency, and fuel heating value, typical requirements for coal use is in the range of 150-250 kg
per metric tonne of cement, and typical requirements for electrical energy use is in the range of 80-125
kWhr per metric tonne of cement. The Kalina Cycle can use the waste heat from the cement production
process to generate electrical energy with no additional fuel consumption, and reduce the cost of electric
energy for cement production.

0-7803-9107-1/05/$20.00 ©2005 IEEE 330

Table 1



World Market:

World Cement Production 1.7 billion tons per year

Average Electricity Requirement 100 kWyr/ton

Total Electricity Energy Requirement 170 billion kWhrs/year

Equivalent Capacity (80% PLF) 24,300 MW

Major Producing Countries:

China 575 million tons per year

India 95 million tons per year
United States 92 million tons per year
Japan 77 million tons per year
Republic of Korea 50 million tons per year
Brazil 41 million tons per year
Thailand 38 million tons per year
Germany 37 million tons per year
Italy 35 million tons per year

The Kalina Cycle

The Kalina Cycle is a new thermal cycle for energy conversion for electric power generation that
improves the efficiency of energy conversion and specific capital cost ($/net kW) of waste heat to
electricity conversion in cement plant applications. The increased thermal efficiency and the specific
thermodynamic advantages of the Kalina Cycle for low temperature heat sources makes it well suited for
industrial Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) power generation applications, allowing a higher generating
capacity for a given heat source than can be achieved with the conventional Rankine steam cycle or
organic Rankine cycle plants.

The Kalina Cycle is an energy conversion process utilizing a working fluid mixture of ammonia-water in a
closed-loop arrangement to maximize electricity output from an existing waste heat source. The
components of the Kalina Cycle are proven industrial equipment ensuring a reliable and trouble-free plant
operation without interfering with the cement production process.

The Kalina Cycle advantage over the Rankine cycle varies inversely with the temperature of the heat
source. The temperatures of the heat sources (preheater and clinker cooler exhaust streams) for a
typical cement facility are in the range, 200 oC to 400 oC. With this temperature range, the Kalina Cycle is
20% to 40% more efficient than the Rankine Cycle. This means that a 20% to 40% larger power plant is
possible with the Kalina Cycle. The capital cost for a Kalina Cycle power plant is comparable to that of a
Rankine cycle power plant. The primary advantage is the ability to get more electrical energy from the
available heat source, and therefore achieve a greater annual savings in energy cost.

The Kalina Cycle process uses a binary working fluid of ammonia and water in a closed-loop cycle. A
key feature of the technology includes the ability to vary the ammonia-water concentration throughout the
power plant system to optimize energy conversion, and to add heat recuperative stages for increased
efficiency. The use of ammonia permits efficient use of waste heat streams allowing boiling of the
ammonia-water working fluid to start at lower temperatures. The use of a binary fluid allows the
composition of the working fluid to be varied through the use of distillation, providing a richer
concentration through the heat acquisition stage (Heat Recovery Vapor Generator) and leaner
composition in the low-pressure condenser. Since the molecular weight of ammonia is close to that of
water, a standard back-pressure, multi-stage turbine-generator is used.

A typical process schematic for a Kalina Cycle waste heat recovery power plant for a cement facility is
shown in Figure 1. The heat sources are the preheater exhaust and the clinker cooler exhaust gases.
Two Heat Recovery Vapor Generators (HRVG’s) are provided, one for the preheater exhaust (stream 25-
26) and one for the cooler exhaust (stream 43-46). A rich mixture of water and ammonia is boiled and
superheated in the HRVGs and the superheated vapor is expanded through a back-pressure turbine
(Point 31). The turbine exhaust is too rich (high ammonia concentration) to condense, so it is then cooled
and diluted with the bottoms from a vapor separator/demister, and is then fully condensed in the low
pressure condenser (Stream 18-1). At this stage, part of the working fluid is sent to the vapor
separator/demister through recuperative heat exchangers and part of the working fluid is mixed with the
high ammonia concentration vapor stream from the vapor separator/demister. This process restores the
working fluid to the optimum ammonia-water concentration for the heat acquisition stage of the cycle. The
working fluid is then condensed in the high pressure condenser (stream 13-14) and returned to the

The Distillation and Condensation Sub-System (DCSS) consists of the demister/separator, recuperative
heat exchangers, high and low pressure condensers and control system. It provides the vital function of
establishing the high ammonia-water concentration for the heat acquisition stage and a low ammonia-
water concentration at the condensation stage.

The DCSS technology is a key component for the high efficiency of a Kalina Cycle plant for industrial
waste heat applications. The distillation process leans out (i.e. lowers the ammonia concentration of) the
turbine exhaust stream just prior to the low pressure condenser. Since a leaner mixture has a lower
saturation pressure at a given temperature, the exhaust stream will then condense at a lower pressure. A
lower turbine exhaust pressure increases the pressure expansion of the working fluid through the turbine,
thus maximizing turbine power.

All heat input for the distillation process is acquired only from the turbine exhaust stream. This process is
possible because of the variable temperature boiling and condensing feature of an ammonia-water
mixture. This process will not work for pure working fluids such as water or hydrocarbons because these
pure fluids boil and condense at a constant temperature.

The second stage of the DCSS restores the working fluid to the original ammonia-water concentration. A
feedpump then directs this fluid back to the HRVG’s to repeat the process in a closed-loop arrangement.

A mixture of ammonia and water is used as a working fluid for several reasons:

• First, the use of a lighter component (ammonia), allows efficient use of the waste heat stream at a
higher pressure by causing boiling to start at lower temperature.

• Second, the use of a mixture allows the composition to be varied through the use of distillation,
such as the richer composition through the boiler, with the leaner composition in the low pressure
condenser. The variable temperature boiling process of ammonia-water reduces losses in heat
transfer processes throughout the power plant, thereby increasing the efficiency of the power

• Third, because of the similar molecular weight of ammonia versus water (17.03 vs. 18.01) the
ammonia-water vapor behaves virtually the same as steam, which allows the use of standard
steam turbine components.

• Fourth, standard materials can be used. Carbon steel and standard high temperature alloys are
acceptable for handling ammonia. Only the use of copper and copper alloys is prohibited in
ammonia service.

• Fifth, ammonia is readily available and relatively inexpensive.

• Sixth, ammonia is not harmful to the environment.

• Seventh, there are proven safety procedures for the handling and use of ammonia in industrial
plant applications.

Additional project design and operating features of the Kalina Cycle for Waste Heat Recovery (WHR)
power plant applications that are especially applicable for cement plant projects include the following:

• Design of the WHR power plant is such that cement production will not be interrupted in the event
the power plant is shutdown, or trips off-line.

• Freeze protection is not required for the working fluid.

• There is no power plant liquid effluent (no boiler blowdown for once-through vapor generators).

• The plant capacity will automatically follow the heat source deviation by a sliding pressure
operation mode.

• The HRVG’s are simple heat exchanger designs that do not require steam drums. This allows
fast cycling of the HRVG during startup and shutdown and increases the flexibility of the boiler
design to minimize tube fouling caused by sticky dust deposits. Proven tube cleaning and dust
removal systems are part of the HRVG design.

Kalina Cycle Power Plant Capacity

The potential capacity of a Kalina Cycle WHR power plant for a cement facility will depend primarily on
the waste gas mass flow rate(s) and temperature(s). Factors that influence these parameters or
otherwise affect the design capacity of the power plant include the following:

Cement production capacity

Facility annual average capacity factor
Type of cement production process
Efficiency of cement production process
Chemical composition of the waste gases
Water-cooled or air-cooled condensers
Design ambient temperature and humidity
Diversions of waste heat for coal and limestone drying
Plant layout

Depending on the above parameters, a Kalina Cycle for a 3000 tpd kiln is expected to be in the range of
6 MW to 9 MW net electricity generation. Specific examples of possible waste heat to energy conversion
schemes are as follows:

• Clinker cooler exhaust only (no preheater heat available for electricity production) of 607,500 lbs.
per hr. and 649 °F (343 °C) to produce 3075 kW net electricity

• Preheater exhaust of 607,500 lbs. per hr. and 725 °F (385°C) and clinker cooler exhaust of
263,250 lbs. per hr. and 680 °F (360 °C) to produce 10,000 kW net electricity
• Multiple preheater exhausts (3 kiln operation) totaling 1,237,750 lbs. per hr. at 740 °F (393 °C) to
produce 11,100 kW net electricity

Final electrical production values will depend on a range plant operating conditions including the source
and temperature of cooling fluid and plant location.

Figure 1


25 30

52 62 "
53 43
64 65
2 3
6 38
54 60 ' 61 ' 44
42 15 10 4
4 5 6
7 11 3 16
22 46 12 19 17
13 58 24 59 18
Kalina Cycle 21 7 8
Conceptual Flow Diagram 2
System 1-2A

KCS1-2 14

Economics of Kalina Cycle Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant

The capital cost for a Kalina Cycle waste heat recovery power plant is expected to be comparable to that
of a Rankine cycle in terms of $/kW for a similar size power plant. The primary advantage is the ability to
generate more electricity, and thus achieve greater savings in facility energy cost. A hypothetical project
example is helpful to explain the benefits of a Kalina Cycle WHR power plant.

An economic analysis is dependent on a large number of inputs and assumptions. These include project
design and operational data, financial data, capital cost estimates, and operating cost estimates.
Reasonable assumptions of these are dependent on the specific project, its location, and its owner.

Assume that a 3000 tpd cement facility is using 100 kWhr/t and operates the equivalent of 100% capacity
for 300 days per year. The electrical energy use would be 90,000,000 kWhr per year. At $0.06/kWhr, the
annual cost for purchased electricity would be $5,400,000. Assume the owner wants to reduce
dependence on the electricity grid by about 50% by building a 6 MW Kalina Cycle waste heat recovery
power plant inside the fence with a capital cost of $9,000,000 and operating cost of $0.003 to $0.004 per
kWhr. The simple payback period for the WHR power plant is less than 4 years after accounting for the
operating and maintenance costs for the Kalina Cycle WHR power plant.

There are a number of possible project financing structures possible for this type of power plant
application including project debt financed and lease financed structures.


ν Avoided Cost of Purchased or Captive Generated Energy

ν Heat Source Temperature and Flow
ν Heat Source Availability
ν Annual Average Load Factor
ν Size of Kalina Cycle Power Plant
ν Capital Cost of Kalina Cycle Power Plant
ν Capital Cost of Alternative Energy Source
ν Fuel Cost of Alternative Energy Source
ν O&M and Overhaul Cost of Alternative Energy Source
ν Financing Terms
ν Escalation
ν Tax Issues

Operation and Maintenance for the WHR Plant

A Kalina Cycle waste heat power plant built within a cement facility will not require additional operating
personnel. The controls of the waste heat power plant will be integrated with the cement plant control
system to prevent any possible impact of an upset situation on cement production. For example, a tube
leak in the HRVG would cause the power plant to be immediately isolated from the cement kiln.

Typical O&M costs for this type of power generation system are in the range of $0.003 to $0.004 per
kWhr of net generation. Scheduled plant maintenance will be conducted during normal outages for the
cement kiln. Short outages (less than one week) are typical for the first four years, with a major outage
for turbine and I&C system overhauls in the fifth calendar year of operation. The major outage is typically
3 to 4 weeks duration. Over the 20 to 30 year life of the power plant, this five year O&M schedule will

Table 2

Waste Heat Power Plant

Typical 5-Year O&M Schedule
Year: 1 2 3 4 5
Kalina System S S S S S
Turbogenerator S S S S M
Cooling System S S S S S
Balance Of Plant S S S S S
Electrical S S S S S

M: Major Overhaul
S: Short Outage

CO2 Emission Benefits of the Kalina Cycle

The Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming is an historic agreement that will have significant impact on the
cement industry. Initially, many countries will be asked to set voluntary reduction targets. Whether these
countries’ responsibility will remain voluntary in the future or other pressure will be applied will depend to
a large extent on the responsiveness and effectiveness of their programs for reduction of emission of
greenhouse gases. In addition, the international agreements and regulatory facilities under development
for “banking, sale and/or trading” of CO2 offsets offers the cement industry a unique opportunity to
acquire additional benefits through implementation of cogeneration projects that will offset CO2 emissions
from fossil fuel fired power generation facilities. If a waste heat recovery power plant energy generation
replaces purchases from the grid, a case can be made for demonstrating an offset of greenhouse gas
emissions from grid power plants.

If we assume a coal consumption rate of 0.76 kg/kWhr, for electric power generation, this would result in
emissions of 1.325 kg of CO2 per kWh of electricity generated. A 10 MW Kalina Cycle waste heat
recovery power plant operating at 85% load factor would therefore offset (reduce) 98,700 metric tons of
CO2 emissions per year. This could either be “credited” against possible future reduction requirements
for the cement facility or sold on the international market for CO2 offsets.


The Kalina Cycle is a new technology that changes the project economics of converting cement kiln
waste heat into electricity. It offers a 20% to 40% performance improvement relative to conventional
waste heat systems. The technology has been proven in a demonstration facility at hot gas temperatures
exceeding 535 °C (1992 to 1997), and in use in other applications including steel production (1999) and
hydrocarbon processing (2005). It can be readily integrated into the operation of industrial processes
without causing a disruption in the in the manufacturing facility.


Mlcak, H. A., “An Introduction to the Kalina Cycle,” Proceedings of the International Joint Power
Generation Conference, Book No. H01077-1996.

Mirolli, M. D. and Leibowitz, H., “First Kalina Combined Cycle Plant Tested Successfully,” Power
Engineering, May, 1997.

Iiyoshi, T. et. al., “Introduction of a Power Generating System by Low Temperature Waste Heat Recovery
(“Kalina Cycle” Power Generating System),” 2000.