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This study is a comparative analysis of the use of coal, fuel oil and natural gas for cement production noting their physical and chemical properties, cost and availability, impact on the environment and human health. Out of the seven cement manufacturing industries in Nigeria, three industries use these fuels were selected for the study. The industries are NigerCem –Ebonyi state, Dangote cement –Benue state and UniCem -Cross river state. Questionnaires were used to gather information on the three fuels. The likert 3- scale model was adopted, using 2.0 as the cut off mark. Based on the analysis of the study, it was observed out that amongst these three (3) fuels, fuel oil is presently expensive though available, while coal and natural gas are cheap but coal is not available due to the closure of Nigeria‟s coal mine. In terms of environment and health, coal and fuel oil emit much harmful gases to the environment and cause more health problems to cement worker but natural gas emits less of these harmful gases to the environment and cause less health problems to workers. The study therefore shows that natural gas is the best fuel because it is cheap, readily available and creates fewer problems to the environment.




Energy is commonly defined as the ability to do work or to produce heat. Normally heat could be derived by burning a fuel (i.e. a substance that contains internal energy which upon burning generates heat). (IEA, 2004).

The energy system today is highly dependent on fossil fuel with coal, fuel oil and natural gas accounting for about 80% of world primary energy demand. (Kul, 2001).

Fuels are the major source of energy for industries and cement industry is not an exception. However, the energy source to be adopted will have to meet the varying needs of different countries and at the same time enhance the security of each against the energy crisis that have taken place in the past. The selection/ choice of fuel type depend on various factors such as environmental pollution, ease in processing, storage and handling, availability and cost of the fuel.

Coal, fuel oil and natural gas are the most commonly used energy carrier in cement industries. The energy use for cement production is distributed as follows:-

·       92.7% for pyro-processing

·       5.4% for finishing grinding and

·       1.9% for raw grinding (Choate, 2003).

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