Cement Kilns

Humber

Location:

  • Grid reference: SE96742571
  • x=496738
  • y=425706
  • 53°43'6"N; 0°32'7"W
  • Civil Parish: the kilns and cement mills and part of the old clay field were in Melton, East Yorkshire: the despatch area, the chalk preparation plant, the chalk quarry, the new clay quarry and the rest of the old clay field were in Welton, East Yorkshire

Clinker manufacture operational: 1921 - 1981

Approximate total clinker production: 13.7 million tonnes (30th)

Raw materials:

  • Middle Chalk (Welton Chalk Formation: 90-94 Ma) and Upper Chalk (Burnham Chalk Formation: 85-90 Ma) from quarry at 497100,427900
  • Clay:
    • 1921-1954 Alluvium from Melton and Welton Ings at 496200,424800
    • 1954-1981 Corallian Clay (Ampthill Clay Formation 156-160 Ma) from quarry at 496900,427100

Ownership:

  • 1921-1923 Humber Portland Cement Co. Ltd
  • 1923-1981 BPCM (G & T Earles - Blue Circle)

Often called Melton Works. An independent public company, including Maxted and Knott as shareholders, was launched in 1917 to construct this plant. Costs escalated during construction and although the kilns got under way in a faltering manner, the company was wound up in July 1924, the plant having been bought by BPCM and placed under the control of G & T Earle . The article in The Engineer of March 1924 describes the plant in glowing terms and with the kilns making 170 t/day, but large parts of the plant were still under construction. In a “trial run” it was said that “the output of the kilns was so much above the guarantee that the makers (i.e. Edgar Allen) were entitled to a large bonus”. Nonetheless, the plant was radically redesigned in the early years of Blue Circle’s ownership, and the contract for the originally-projected third kiln went to Vickers, while the contract for Earle’s new plant at Hope went to FLS.

Because of planning constraints on the height, the original kiln stacks were only 75 ft high, and induced draught fans were therefore provided from the outset: the plant appears to have been the first to have these. A single 200 ft stack replaced all three short stacks when precipitators were later installed, the neighbourhood having been inundated in dust for several years causing the planning authority to revise their rules.

The addition of the Niro spray-drier to A3 in 1973 was designed to improve heat exchange, yielding higher output and lower fuel consumption. Slurry was fed to the spray drier, heated by kiln exhaust gas, and entered the kiln in the form of particles around 150 μm in size. Its ability to increase output was limited by pick-up of dust and fume from the kiln at slightly increased gas flow-rates. This was exacerbated by the use of the kiln for re-cycling of the dust of all three kilns, at a time when the dust losses of the other two kilns were rising. This led to an extraordinarily high alkali and sulfate load. The kiln was occasionally fed with dust alone.

The plant took over Blue Circle’s production of sulfate resisting clinker in the North on the closure of Wilmington in 1969, and by 1979 was making 100% SR. Because of the low silica ratio of the clay, a large addition of sand had to be made, and this led to higher kiln dust losses and fuel consumption, and somewhat lower output.

The whiting plant continued in operation after the cement plant’s closure. In 1989, the Blue Circle industrial minerals division was sold to Croxton and Garry (now Omya UK) and the production of ground calcium carbonate continues. The plant had a small jetty on the Humber, but all heavy transport was by rail, using the LNER Hull main line. The cement plant site was gradually cleared, and various structures, including the cement silos, remained until recently. It has now been cleared, except for the original office building.

Please contact me with any relevant information or corrections. I am particularly interested in firmer dates and statistics.

Rawmills

  • 1921-1954: Two Edgar Allen 225 kW (subsequently up-rated to 450 kW) and one FLS 400 kW ball mills at the quarry produced chalk slurry that was pumped to storage at the plant. Clay brought from the Ings by tramway was milled with the chalk slurry in two 55 kW washmills. The slurry was then re-ground in two Edgar Allen 55 kW tube mills.
  • 1954-1981: The plant processing equipment was abandoned. A clay washmill was installed at the chalk quarry site. The three ball mills, each fed with clay slip, made finished slurry.

Three rotary kilns were installed:

Kiln A1

Supplier: Edgar Allen
Operated: 12/1921-1981
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end 496709,425721: Cold end 496769,425705
Dimensions:

  • 1921-1932 200’0”× 9’0” (metric 60.96 × 2.743)
  • 1932-1962 201’6⅝”× 10’6”B / 9’0”CD (metric 61.43 × 3.200 / 2.743)
  • 1962-1981 201’6⅝”× 10’6”B / 9’0”C / 11’6”D (metric 61.43 × 3.200 / 2.743 / 3.505)

Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise.
Kiln profile:

  • 1921-1932 0×2743: 60960×2743: tyres at 4572, 22860, 38100, 56388: turning gear at 36271
  • 1932-1962 0×2743: 6096×2743: 7620×3200: 19812×3200: 21336×2743: 61433×2743: tyres at 4572, 22860, 38100, 56388: turning gear at 36271
  • 1962-1981 0×2743: 6096×2743: 7620×3200: 19812×3200: 21336×2743: 58080×2743: 59604×3505: 61433×3505: tyres at 4572, 22860, 38100, 56731: turning gear at 36271

Cooler: rotary beneath firing floor: 58’0” × 6’0” (metric 17.68 × 1.829)
Cooler profile: 0×1829: 17678×1829: tyres at 3962, 14630
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: Semi-indirect: ball mill
Exhaust: initially through dry drop-out chambers to ID fan then direct to stack. A Sturtevant electrostatic precipitator was later added after the fan.
Typical Output: 1921-1932 186 t/d: 1932-1946 231 t/d: 1946-1951 253 t/d: 1951-1957 269 t/d: 1957-1962 253 t/d: 1962-1974 272 t/d: 1974-1981 264 t/d.
Typical Heat Consumption: 1921-1932 7.54 MJ/kg: 1932-1946 6.87 MJ/kg: 1946-1951 7.22 MJ/kg: 1951-1957 7.63 MJ/kg: 1957-1962 6.88 MJ/kg: 1962-1974 7.15 MJ/kg: 1974-1981 6.80 MJ/kg.


Kiln A2

Supplier: Edgar Allen
Operated: 1/1922-?7/11/1980
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end 496708,425715: Cold end 496767,425699
Dimensions:

  • 1922-1932 200’0”× 9’0” (metric 60.96 × 2.743)
  • 1932-1937 201’6⅝”× 10’6”B / 9’0”CD (metric 61.43 × 3.200 / 2.743)
  • 1937-1980 202’9⅞”× 10’6”B / 9’0”C / 11’6”D (metric 61.82 × 3.200 / 2.743 / 3.505)

Rotation (viewed from firing end): anti-clockwise.
Kiln profile:

  • 1922-1932 0×2743: 60960×2743: tyres at 4572, 22860, 38100, 56388: turning gear at 36271
  • 1932-1937 0×2743: 6096×2743: 7620×3200: 19812×3200: 21336×2743: 61433×2743: tyres at 4572, 22860, 38100, 56388: turning gear at 36271
  • 1937-1980 0×2743: 6096×2743: 7620×3200: 19812×3200: 21336×2743: ×2743: ×3505: 61820×3505: Tyres at 4572, 22860, 38100, 56388: turning gear at 36271

Cooler: rotary beneath firing floor: 58’0” × 6’0” (metric 17.68 × 1.829)
Cooler profile: 0×1829: 17678×1829: tyres at 3962, 1463
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: Semi-indirect: ball mill
Exhaust: initially through dry drop-out chambers to ID fan then direct to stack. A Sturtevant electrostatic precipitator was later added after the fan.
Typical Output: 1922-1932 185 t/d: 1932-1937 233 t/d: 1937-1946 238 t/d: 1946-1951 254 t/d: 1951-1957 271 t/d: 1957-1974 274 t/d: 1974-1980 263 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1922-1932 7.53 MJ/kg: 1932-1937 6.73 MJ/kg: 1937-1946 6.98 MJ/kg: 1946-1951 7.26 MJ/kg: 1951-1957 7.69 MJ/kg: 1957-1974 7.07 MJ/kg: 1974-1980 6.92 MJ/kg


Kiln A3

Supplier: Vickers
Operated: 27/06/1925-1981
Process: Wet: from 1973 a Niro spray-drier was attached to the rear of the kiln and the chain system was removed.
Location: Hot end 496706,425708: Cold end 496767,425691
Dimensions:

  • 1925-1937 200’0”× 9’10½”B / 8’10½”CD (metric 60.96 × 3.010 / 2.705)
  • 1937-1981 206’7⅜”× 9’10½”B / 8’10½”C / 11’6”D (metric 62.98 × 3.010 / 2.705 / 3.505)

Rotation (viewed from firing end): anticlockwise.
Kiln profile:

  • 1925-1937 0×2705: 3124×2705: 4191×3010: 15164×3010: 16231×2705: 60960×2705: tyres at 2134, 17221, 35509, 53797: turning gear at 33680
  • 1937-1972 0×2705: 3124×2705: 4191×3010: 15164×3010: 16231×2705: 57391×2705: 58915×3505: 62976×3505: tyres at 2134, 17221, 35509, 55944: turning gear at 33680
  • 1973-1981 0×2705: 3124×2705: 4191×3010: 15164×3010: 16231×2705: 57391×2705: 62671×3505: 62976×3505: tyres at 2134, 17221, 35509, 55944: turning gear at 33680

Cooler: rotary beneath firing floor 60'0" × 6'3¾" (metric 18.29 × 1.924)
Cooler profile: 0×1924: 18288×1924: Tyres at ,
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: Semi-indirect: ball mill
Exhaust: initially through dry drop-out chambers to ID fan then direct to stack. A Sturtevant electrostatic precipitator was later added after the fan.
Typical Output: 1925-1933 210 t/d: 1933-1942 252 t/d: 1942-1951 257 t/d: 1951-1957 269 t/d: 1957-1964 259 t/d: 1964-1973 267 t/d: 1973-1981 330 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1925-1933 7.12 MJ/kg: 1933-1942 6.82 MJ/kg: 1942-1951 7.21 MJ/kg: 1951-1957 7.64 MJ/kg: 1957-1964 6.80 MJ/kg: 1964-1973 7.14 MJ/kg: 1973-1981 5.50 MJ/kg



Sources: Cook, pp 65-66: Jackson, pp 231, 282: Pugh, pp 83, 264: “A new cement works on the Humber”, The Engineer, CXXXVII, March 28, 1924, pp 326-328, 336; April 4, 1924, pp 358-360; April 11, 1924, pp 392-394


© Dylan Moore 2011: last edit 22/11/14.

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Old Maps

Detail plans of the plant has been partially completed, but further progress is prevented by lack of information on the layout of the plant. I rely upon friends for this information. It may never arrive, but it may arrive tomorrow.

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Humber Capacity

Picture: ©English Heritage - NMR Aerofilms Collection. Britain from Above reference number EPW016199.
Britain from Above features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of aerial photographs. You can download images, share memories, and add information. By the end of the project in 2014, 95,000 images taken between 1919 and 1953 will be available online.
This was taken in July 1926 and shows the plant from the northwest. The taller, common stack had not yet been built, and Kiln 3 had been plumbed into Kiln 2's stack. View in High Definition.

Humber
This was taken in September 1932 and shows the plant from the southeast with the common stack in place. View in High Definition.


Humber Picture
Picture: Peter Ellis. This shows the cold end of Kiln A3 in 1978, viewed from the southwest. Hot gases from the kiln were ducted upwards into the spray drier chamber, into which slurry was run. The drier instantly dried the slurry into particles about 0.2 mm in diameter, which dropped into the kiln. The gas, cooled to 180°C, passed out through cyclones. The elevator and conveyor to the right returned the dust from all three kilns to Kiln A3 feed chute.


 GeoScenicP222393 ©NERC 1972
Picture: ©NERC : British Geological Survey Cat. No. P222393. This is the chalk quarry, viewed from the east in 1972. The conical chalk store can be seen in the centre, with most of the slurry preparation and whiting plant out of sight in the valley bottom. The dazzling high-purity chalk was ideal for efficient white cement manufacture. It is still used to make whiting.