LafargeHolcim’s symbiotic solution for recycling and recovering oil waste

Thanks to the expertise of the Geocycle teams, LafargeHolcim can offer actors in the petroleum industry an alternative to sending their oil sludge to landfill: it is called co-processing. This approach consists of the simultaneous recycling and recovery of mineral and energy content of the waste used as alternative fuel and raw material in cement manufacturing. This is a perfect example of the Group’s innovative solutions that support the circular economy by offering industrial partners a safe, local and sustainable solution.

Oil sludge is inevitable waste generated during the drilling process that is often left to stockpile until it forms large lagoons that can be up to 2 m deep. This toxic waste may infiltrate into the groundwater and soil, causing widespread environmental contamination as well as human health hazards for local communities.

In response, the LafargeHolcim Geocycle teams have developed an innovative solution for depolluting these lagoons around the world so they can be rehabilitated and used for growing crops. First, the waste is extracted from the lagoons, transported and transformed into a homogenous mix. This composition is then co-processed in a LafargeHolcim cement plant, where its material component is recycled and its energy recovered in our kilns.

The co-processing approach, when coupled with expert pretreatment, provides a practical, cost effective and environmentally preferred option to landfills and waste-to-energy incineration. Here are a few reasons why:

It ensures an optimal use of the waste thanks to this simultaneous recycling and recovery process and leaves no residual waste

It fully destroys the contaminants

It contributes to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and to the transition towards a less fossil dependent industry

It is supervised by a reliable and transparent actor in waste management: Geocycle

Thomas Guillot, Head of Geocycle Europe explains: “Across Europe, our teams can be present at every stage of the value chain to create a virtuous loop out of trash called industrial symbiosis. This symbiosis is a win-win relationship: the oil industry eliminates its waste thanks to our expert services and LafargeH­olcim benefits from the recycled materials and recovered energy generated by this technique.” In addition, co-processing activities support one of LafargeHolcim’s strategic priorities: lowering the carbon footprint by increasing the use of circular economy practices in the operations.


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