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CONCRETE MINUS CARBON

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architecture and design
 
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CONCRETE MINUS CARBON CONCRETE MINUS CARBON

CONCRETE MINUS CARBON






BY MEG CALKINS, FASLA
New technologies can reduce the environmental footprint of the most-used construction material.
FROM THE JULY 2017 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.
Concrete in the 21st century promises to be a more sustainable material, and given the nine billion metric tons used globally each year, it must be. Portland cement, the binding agent in ordinary concrete, has a very high carbon footprint, resulting in just under one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) released for every ton of cement produced. With 4.2 billion metric tons of the binder used each year worldwide, cement production is responsible for nearly 8 percent of total global carbon emissions. The high lime content of ordinary portland cement contributes about two-thirds of cement?s CO2 impact through the process of limestone calcination. The other one-third of CO2 released is from combustion of fossil fuels.
Technologies to improve the carbon footprint of concrete are currently in the early stages of development, but some, including carbon sequestration in concrete and substantial reductions of cement using energetically modified cement, are now commercially available. Concrete surface products for paving and walls to scrub air pollution, as well as new self-healing concrete products, are also worth investigating. We have heard about some of these innovations for a decade or more in the research community, but many are finally being brought to market?some more quickly than others. Europe is ahead of the United States in the adoption of these technologies, largely because of more rigorous clean air and carbon reduction initiatives.
New technologies in any field can take a long time to move from the laboratory to the marketplace, but recent sustainable concrete technologies have experienced challenges in scaling up to the global concrete trade, and some companies with promising technologies have gone bankrupt before the market could embrace their products. Although specific products are discussed in this article, it is not an endorsement of these products over others. Few products in these areas are on the market, and the products that are discussed are those that provide the most online information to consumers.
Solidia Technologies, a company that produces a low-lime cement and uses CO2 instead of water to cure concrete, has marketed its products as better-performing and cheaper than ordinary portland cement concrete. Bo Boylan, Solidia?s chief commercial officer, said in a phone interview that Solidia products use the same production equipment, methods, and supply chains as ordinary portland cement concrete. This has helped the company gain a foothold with the Federal Highway Administration and some state transportation departments in a market that can be slow to change.
Sequestering carbon in concrete
Solidia is one of a handful of companies using concrete to sequester carbon. It has developed a nonhydraulic cement that is low lime, containing primarily calcium silicat...


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Fuente de la noticia: landscapearchitecturemagazine
Fecha de publicación: 25-07-2017 21:46
visto: 14

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