Resource consciousness and circular solutions

Efforts to increase the utilisation of all materials quarried and minimise waste, is an important part of resource consciousness. Further efforts have also been on productification and use of different side streams, both internal and customer-related. Other circular solutions are deliveries of residual heat from the lime kilns and water from the quarries to the local municipalites.

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Resource consciousness has lately become a clear focus area in all Nordkalk operations. The need to utilise quarried raw materials as efficiently as possible has been clearly understood and accepted. The company has gradually succeeded in improving the material efficiency of its operations to a very good level. The efforts are often also supported by direct cost savings when less material needs to be transported to landfill.  

During the past years, resource consciousness and material efficiency have been supported by intense efforts to increase the productisation and use of different internal, as well as customer-related, side streams. Further product development in this area creates a huge opportunity for Nordkalk in the future, when the circular economy will be a strong driver on the market.  

Besides the above-mentioned circular solutions, Nordkalk also delivers residual heat from several lime kilns to be used in district heating networks, and clean groundwater from one mine to be utilised as drinking water by the surrounding municipality.

Raw material availability, quality control and legal approval processes are challenges to be controlled as the business cases are based on side streams and the utilisation of waste as raw material. 

CASE: E-series portfolio 

Header E-series paint 1920

Nordkalk E-Series products for coatings and adhesives combine superior quality with cost-efficiency and environmental benefits.With the assistance of Nordkalk Enrich, the need for titanium dioxide (TiO2) and binder is partially eliminated. This contributes to lower raw material costs while maintaining the technical performance of the paint at a high level, for example gloss and wet-scrub resistance.

Nordkalk Enrich is also an environmental friendly choice for coping with more stringent environmental objectives and advancing carbon footprint reduction. Production of Nordkalk Enrich represents a maximum of 20% of the carbon footprint created by the production of TiO2.

R&D: Movable waste water cleaning plant

Nordkalk is involved in several water-related research projects. In 2018, a co-innovation project was started with the Finnish state research organisation VTT and several companies to develop a waste water cleaning plant operating in a movable shipping container. The plant cleans the waste water while nitrogen and phosphorus are recycled and clean water released. Lime acts as a cleaning agent by precipitating the phosphorus in the process.

Additional on-going R&D projects

  • At lake Kymijärvi in Lahti in Finland, the removal of phosphorus from the hypolimnion (the lower part of the lake water) is studied in collaboration with the University of Helsinki.  
  • NP harvest is a project with Aalto University researching nutrient recovery and its technologies from different kind of liquid waste.
  • The Sulfa II project, with for example the Finnish Environment Institute, studies the management of sulfide-induced acidity in peat harvesting. 
  • And at lake Alinenjärvi in Nokia, the 100-year project is in its 22nd year to keep the lake in good condition.

WE COMMIT TO

  • improving material efficiency in our operations, thus extending the lifetime of our valuable natural limestone resources and reducing waste with a 100% material efficiency target
  • maximising the utilisation of all internal side streams, whether limestone-based, wall rock, energy or water
  • improving the utilisation of customer-related side streams, where possible
  • supporting and developing lime-catalysed solutions for efficient reuse of organic residues and nutrients
  • developing circular solutions to improve the fertility of arable land and reduce the eutrophication of water courses
  • developing products with zero or low carbon footprint.

Leader in Northern Europe

Nordkalk is the leading limestone company in Northern Europe. We deliver essential raw materials to numerous industries, and our solutions contribute to clean air and water as well as productivity of agricultural land.