Alternative Fuels

Significant environmental and commercial benefits can be gained through the use of alternative raw materials and alternative fuels. In all our activities, increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions remains a major focus. Sapphire sees climate change and high energy costs as twin innovative driving forces of the future and we recognise that the challenges of today can quickly become the opportunities of tomorrow.

Solid Fuels

Sapphire manages a range of solid and liquid fuels that are used in the cement kilns as an alternative to fossil fuels. We achieve this by putting the by-products from other industries waste to good use in a safe and efficient way.

Sapphire aim to increase the quantities of alternative fuels used in the cement plants as a key component of our carbon reduction strategy. The use of alternative fuels is a key driver to cement plant performance, we have no ‘one size fits all’ approach and collect waste, receive waste or contract waste dependant on each market and circumstance. Our current solid fuel suite consists of Solid recovered fuel, processed sewage pellets, tyre chip, tyre fluff, carpet fluff, polymers, meat and bone meal and waste wood.

Did you know

Nationally 350 million tonnes of waste are produced annually of which 20 – 25 million tonnes are mineral-based wastes.


By staying local and using waste biomass materials to generate energy we make a true life impact in the manufacturing process.

Generally regarded by most as a plant based material Biomass is comprised of either grass or wood from trees. At Sapphire we have focused our work on recovering biomass from discarded carbon and partially carbon neutral sources. These include sewage sludge, domestic refuse, commercial and industrial wood waste, miscanthus and dusts, as well as fabrics and food. We put waste to work.

Sustainable – coal and biomass both release C02!

The vital difference between biomass and fossil fuels is one of time scale.

Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing, and returns it as it is burned. If it is managed on a sustainable basis, biomass is harvested as part of a constantly replenished crop. This is either during woodland or arboricultural management or coppicing or as part of a continuous programme of replanting with the new growth taking up CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time as it is released by combustion of the previous harvest.
This maintains a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels

Investing in energy efficiency, designing for durability, using renewable
energy sources like biomass, innovating low carbon products and
optimising the distribution of our goods.

Liquid Fuels

Recycled Liquid Fuel (RLF) is manufactured by blending residues from recovering and recycling industrial waste solvents together with waste solvents and hydrocarbons that cannot be technically or economically recycled. The wastes from which RLF is produced are from the production of household products including paints, inks, adhesives, plastics, automotive fluids, cleaning solvents and varnishes.

The addition of RLF is utilised in the overall fuel mix of Tarmac’s cement operations and reduces the amount of fossil fuel that the cement kiln consumes.