Cement Lock Technology Assessment
In 1997, the ERC Policy and Assessment Group produced
a forecast of the yet-to-commercialized Cement-Lock technology,
invented and sponsored by the Gas Technology Institute. This unique
process processes contaminated soils/sediments into a stabilized
product known as Ecomelt. The Ecomelt product is mixed with clean
Portland cement to produce a highly-stable cement product for commercial
use that can be used in situations where land-filling is not a viable
option. The main focus was on highly contaminated soils and sediments
that can only be landfilled at very high tipping fees.
This assessment determined the likelihood of commercial
success of the technology. Using reasonably accurate ranges for
a set of variables that critically impact the diffusion and profitability
of the technology once commercialized – for example, long-term
forecasts for the market price of Portland cement, forecasts for
tipping fees at TSCA-certified landfills, and forecasts for the
price of natural gas. Using a monte carlo approach, probability
distributions for key financial performance criteria – net
present value, internal rate of return, annual profit margin, project
payback – were determined.
The Cement Lock process was shown to have
a low probability for success for processing clean concrete and
asphalt wastes as well as low-level toxic waste. However, for high-level
toxic waste, the process exhibited highly positive financial results.
PCB contaminated soils and sediments were shown to be ideal feedstocks
for the Cement Lock process.
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