concrete construction

Concrete that sequesters CO2 could ‘revolutionise’ industry emissions

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A concrete technology that sequesters carbon, instead of producing it, has been developed by researchers at the University of Warwick and Concrete4Change.

The concrete industry alone is currently responsible for around 7-8 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions - the equivalent of more than any individual country except for China and the US.

The newly developed method allows for CO2 to be sequestered from the atmosphere and absorbed into the cement, strengthening it and reducing the amount required to produce equivalent-strength concrete.

Both CO2 sequestration and cement reduction can contribute to the reduction of concrete’s CO2 footprint, the researchers said. They believe the technology has the potential to mitigate two billion tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to 4 per cent of global CO2 emissions.

Dr Reyes Garcia from the University of Warwick said: “As the world strives to reach zero-carbon goals, the construction industry and we civil engineers have a huge role to play to make concrete more sustainable. The cement we use to produce concrete contributes massively to CO2 emissions and therefore we need to take drastic action now if the construction sector is to achieve its CO2 reduction goals.

“We are incredibly excited to support Concrete4Change by performing concrete technology and durability tests, which are critical to prove that the technology can be safely adopted by designers, contractors and concrete producers”.

Dave Myers, also from the University of Warwick, added: “In order to make sure the concrete made by this innovative technology is as good as - if not better than - previous standards, we will be assisting Concrete4Change by completing testing and microscopical examination.

“Once testing has been completed, the partnerships that C4C have made can help bring this technology to market and reinvent the concrete industry into a more sustainable and eco-friendlier one.”

Concrete4Change has been demonstrating their low carbon concrete at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

A number of different projects are underway to try and tackle the high carbon output of the concrete industry. One study from last year concluded that recycled concrete can perform as well or better than conventional concrete, while another project has developed a new method of producing concrete without cement.

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