In the northern United Arab Emirates, Hundreds of tonnes of camel waste are being used to fuel cement production, reduce emissions and keeping animal waste out of landfill.
As part of a government-run program, farmers in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah are throwing camel droppings at the collection stations. It is then mixed with coal to feed the boiler of a large cement plant.
The general manager of Gulf Cement Company, Mohamed Ahmed Ali Ebrahim, said “People started to laugh, believe me,”
But after testing, the company discovered that two tons of camel waste could replace a ton of coal and now company uses 50 tonnes of camel waste a day.
“We heard from our grandfathers that they used cow dung for heating. But nobody had thought about the camel waste itself,” said Ebrahim.
9,000 camels used in milk production, racing and beauty contests. Each camel produces some 8kg of faeces daily far more than farmers use as fertiliser.
A blend of one part dung to nine parts coal burns steadily – essential for cement ovens that work continuously at up to 1,400 degrees Celsius.
The main aim of the project is to prevent camel waste from ending up in the dump, with the government seeking to divert 75% of all waste from landfill by 2021.
Authorities want more cement plants to adopt the practice and start using chicken and industrial waste, as well as sludge from water treatment, said Sonia Ytaurte Nasser, executive director of the waste management agency.
“Waste is just a resource in the wrong place,” she said.
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