Environmentally friendly concrete without carbon dioxide emissions

Alternative solutions for clinker, CO2 storage as well as electrification of industrial furnaces are just some of the ways to decarbonize the construction industry.

The decades ahead are expected to be the most challenging in history construction industry. In a time of accelerated technological progress, the authorities of many countries around the world are trying by all means reduce global warming, which he fears will increase by 1.5 ° C in the future. Conference COP26 u Glazgovu has made it clear that knowledge, and at the same time it is known that the construction industry is a big culprit for climate change.

If the current construction needs in the world continue, it is predicted that they will construction material production increase by as much as 38% by 2050. years, unless clear steps are taken to preserve the environment.

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Cement factory; photo: researchgate.net

For zero CO2 emissions by 2050, investment in clean energy must increase by 300% annually by 2030.

If we take into account that about 7% of global CO2 emissions go to the production of cement, which is a key component of concrete, it is clear that this industry must suffer radical change to save the planet. Most of this emission occurs in the production phase due to chemical reactions that occur in itself cement formation, also when high temperatures are reached required for its production.

Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) is an association founded in 2018, which brings together about 40 of the world’s largest producers of cement and concrete, of which stand out: CEMEX, Holcim, HeidelbergCement, CRH i China National Building Materials (CNBM). One of the goals set by this organization is the production of concrete without carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, ie the reduction of the mentioned emissions. for 25% by 2030.

Carbon dioxide reduction methods in cement production

There are a number of measures that would realize the idea decarbonization of the construction industry. Electrification of industrial furnaces and use new forms of energy could be significantly decommissioned fossil fuels in cement production.

One of the measures is the transport of construction materials electric vehicles from the production plant, through the warehouse, all the way to the installation site. Also, standard optimization in the design and use of other materials in construction as concrete replacement, but also concrete recycling would be significant factors to solve the mentioned problem.

GCCA emission reduction plan until 2050; photo: GCCAssociation.org

Clinker, a key ingredient in cement production, is responsible for CO2 emissions.

Cement manufacturers pay special attention alternative clinker solutions – a key ingredient for the production of cement, which is responsible for CO2 emissions. Additional cementitious materials represent through natural and industrial by-products, which can be used to replace a certain proportion of clinker in production.

These materials can be divided into hydraulic (granulated slag from blast furnaces, burnt shales) and pozzolanske (ash, metakaolin, silicate dust, natural shale). Hydraulic materials are in the presence of water they harden themselves, while pozzolans harden in the presence of of dissolved calcium hydroxide (Ca (OH) 2). The setting time of concrete containing pozzolanic materials is often slower, so the strength is achieved over a longer period, in contrast to the strength of concrete with a hydraulic binder.

Carbon dioxide storage

GCCA as the most efficient method the fight against global emissions is considered collection and geological storage of carbon dioxide (CCS). It is a method of separation CO2 from waste products and its storage deep in the ground, which has been shown to be effective in combating global warming. With this procedure, therefore, from the plants built so far removes harmful emissions.

There are three main ways to underground storage carbon dioxide: depleted oil and gas fields, which is well known thanks to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, then saline aquifers, which have not been so researched and deep layers of coal, which would when the pumping problem is solved large volumes of CO2 in low permeability coal, could be very efficient storage.

Underground storage of carbon dioxide; photo: BRMG image

The captured harmful gas from the factory would be shipped to the North Sea and pumped into underground cavities under the sea.

Company CEMEX launched innovative concrete on the market last year Vertua Net-Zero CO2. In the production of this material, carbon emissions reduced by 70% compared to standard concrete, while the remaining 30% of the emission was neutralized through other methods of carbon dioxide reduction.

Swedish giant in cement production HeidelbergCement announced in the coming years the reconstruction of his cement factory on the island of Gotland with the aim of making the world’s first cement plant without harmful CO2 emissions. The captured harmful gas from the mentioned factory would be sent to the North Sea and pumped into underground cavities under the sea.

GCCA is together with the representatives World Economic Forum as part of the initiative Mission Possible Partnership created approaches to change in the industry, which include: creating an organization of leading manufacturers in a particular industry, creating an elaborate plan to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2050, help all participants in these changes to follow the planned plan and construction of market infrastructure necessary for the implementation of the said plan.

Concrete has an alternative; photo: greenbiz.com

Public infrastructure accounts for about 60% of the world’s concrete demand. Little will happen without state support.

As technology advances, the economy still faces many challenges. The construction industry alone, without the support of state governments, cannot do much to reduce CO2 emissions. Public infrastructure accounts for about 60% of the world’s concrete demand, therefore, the role of the state in this action is more than significant.

They need to improve markets for low emission products that is, to work on their promotion, and the support of the state is also needed for technology development such as the collection and storage of carbon dioxide.

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Source: Gradnja by www.gradnja.rs.

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