Dear Readers,

Good news is scarce at the moment, at best the recent vacation season puts us in a mild mood. The Corona figures are rising, there is no quick end in sight to the war in Ukraine, and raw materials are also becoming scarce, along with other important products in the supply chain. The article by Dr. Joachim Harder, OneStone Consulting, under the heading: “Gypsum – a scarce raw material?” deals in detail with the availability of gypsum as a raw material also in Europe. Why now and why gypsum? Up to now, large quantities of synthetic gypsum have been produced as a by-product during, for example, flue gas desulfurization or chemical processes. In Germany, coal-fired power plants are to be gradually shut down. As a result, much less synthetic gypsum will also be produced. Alternative sources of raw materials are then offered by natural gypsum deposits or the recycling of gypsum. The latter option in particular would conserve our resources, but still requires intensive research work, as only a small proportion of gypsum is recycled to date. The demand for gypsum will increase in the future, but there are still sufficient resources available worldwide. As an important raw material, gypsum is needed in large quantities in the cement industry, the plasterboard industry, for other gypsum construction products and in the agricultural industry. But in the long term, developing suitable recycling routes is certainly a much-needed strategy.

Other articles deal, among other things, with the use of limestone in asphalt production, artificial intelligence in optimizing supply chains for building materials, and other topics on raw material optimization.

I hope you enjoy reading

Dr. Petra Strunk
Editor-in-Chief

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