At the end of 2012 I attended the “17th Arab-International Cement Conference and Exhibition” in Dubai – an important international event. I realized that the topics have fundamentally changed since my first participation at the conference in 2005. In the past, increasing the plant capacity was the driving force for factory updating all over the world. Today aspects of energy and environment are discussed in all regions. The improvement of the separation capacity of a plant, alternative fuels to optimize the CO2 balance, energy-efficient plants, national and global environmental initiatives - these are topics that, in the meantime, are comprehensively presented and discussed at the AUCBM Conference. These have also long been the goals of the cement groups. An example: HeidelbergCement. At the end of 2012 for the first time the Quarry Life Awards were presented. 80 contributions from 18 countries were evaluated and the winners were determined. And it is clear: one winner is certainly the environment.
Another focus in this issue is on the trends in the gypsum industry. Two articles deal with plasticizers. They are already frequently used in the building materials industry for cement-based building materials. However, they have not yet been fully investigated and optimized in many respects as regards their use for gypsum building materials.
Finally, a tip from the editorial board: Are you looking for information regarding a certain topic? Have a look at www.zkg.de (German or English). Under the menu item ‘archive’ you will find a summary of the contents of previous issues. You can research certain topics with the search function.