Clinker, if stored in dry conditions, can be kept for several months without appreciable loss of quality. Because of this, and because it can easily be handled by ordinary mineral handling equipment, clinker is traded internationally in large quantities. The freight cost is much lower than that for the equivalent amount of finished cement, but produces greenhouse gases. Cement manufacturers purchasing clinker grind it as an addition to their own clinker at their cement plants. Manufacturers also ship clinker to grinding plants in areas where cement-making raw materials are not available.
Gypsum is added to clinker primarily as a setting additive for cement, but it is also very effective to facilitate the grinding of clinker by preventing agglomeration and coating of the powder at the surface of balls and mill wall.
Organic compounds are also often added as grinding aids to avoid powder agglomeration. Triethanolamine (TEA) is commonly used at 0.1 wt. % and is proved to be very effective. Other additives are sometimes used, such as ethylene glycol, oleic acid, dodecylbenzene sulfonic acid, ... .