Manufacturing processes

The evacuation rates of these fumes and the content of certain components are measured periodically by accredited external organizations. Values must be below the limits set in the sites’ prefectural operating regulations and are available from

Information about releases into the environment from classified Terreal plants are available on the French pollutant emissions environmental register:

Limiting our dust emissions

Several initiatives have been put in place to systematically reduce dust emissions caused by quarrying operations.

  • Traffic lanes and parking areas are designed for easy cleaning.
  • Cleaning mechanisms for vehicle wheels are installed on the internal site roads before vehicles transporting raw materials leave, and all bulk material transported is covered. In 2013 the Bordeneuve quarry (11) invested in a new wheel washer.
  • Stocks of powdered materials are confined, and transfer and handling facilities for these materials are covered.
  • Suction devices are connected to the dust collection systems and the recovered materials are usually reintroduced into the process.
  • Quarry tracks are watered to reduce dust and the quarries are equipped with a permanent network of sensors measuring the dust falls over a period of a month; each month these sensors are analysed and the results are used to calculate the annual summary, which is sent to the authorities.

Purifying our flue gases

When Terreal products are baked in a furnace, several pollutants are released in the flue gases:

  • chlorine, naturally present in the earth
  • sulphur, present in the form of impurities in the clay
  • fluorine, a natural component in certain clays released as hydrogen fluoride
  • iron pyrite (Fe2S)
  • gypsum.

Every year, an accredited body measures the flue gases released. The Group records the results and sends them to the classified sites inspectorate in the form of an annual summary.

Among the measures we have put in place, all Terreal plants working with clays naturally containing fluorine are equipped with flue gas cleaning systems.

The scrubbing system reduces sulphur and chlorine emissions and above all neutralizes the fluorine. The flue gases are filtered through limestone granules which trap the fluorine in the form of a thin film of calcium fluoride. The calcium fluoride is then scraped from the surface of the limestone before being recycled as a raw material for the cement industry.

Improving our water management

Each of the Group’s plants keep updated incoming water and wastewater circulation plans. Depending on the use, wastewater can be recycled through a special collection system.

Each collection system corresponds to specific waste conditions and characteristics (temperature, pH, colour, dissolved solids, etc.).

We have also implemented accidental pollution prevention devices using containment systems, as well as specific watertight storage and liquid handling areas.

Our sites also have isolation valves upstream of the discharge points in order to confine the wastewater if necessary.

Recycling our waste

Our manufacturing processes generate different types of waste. Each has its own particular recycling principle:

  • green waste, malleable clay mixtures from, for example, trimming tile presses are systematically reintroduced into the manufacturing mixture in the mixer
  • dry waste, non-compliant products after drying are generally reintroduced into the manufacturing process at the raw material storage phase in order to be ground again
  • any baked waste, non-compliant products after baking, is ceramic and must be ground up in order to be reused in the manufacturing process in the place of sand. This is the case for the plants in southern France, where 100% of baked breakages are recycled in the process in the form of a degreaser. If not reused as a degreaser, they can, for example, be used to refill our quarries. At Bavent, in the Calvados area, baked waste is donated to the town and used to maintain farm tracks near the marshes.
  • the slip coating residues, depending on whether they are liquid or solid, are either reintroduced into the manufacturing process as dampening water for shaping the products or join an ad hoc waste reprocessing circuit
  • on every industrial site other types of waste benefit from a specific sorting method and reprocessed through ad hoc networks.

In order to increase the effectiveness of our approach to recycling, we organize waste sorting training for our employees.

About the waste

In terms of the quantities produced, the largest amount of waste produced by our plants is production waste, followed by refractory waste, limestone granules from scrubber filters, packaging, pallets, oils, metals, etc.

In 2013, 100% of the bricks our Group made and sold were packed on recyclable pallets.

Our Group’s activities produce emissions that are released into the air, in particular dust and fumes from our drying kilns and furnaces.