This production technique reduces concrete’s carbon emissions by 70 percent

The production of concrete is responsible for as much as eight percent of annual CO2 emissions. Knowing that this is a big problem for future business, manufacturers have been looking for ways to reduce their carbon emissions which come from two sources. Traditionally, about half comes from the heating of the kiln, and the other half comes from the chemical reaction that makes cement out of calcium carbonate. And while there has been progress in producing more sustainable materials, getting it on the market has been a challenge – that is, until now.

A venture between the cement giant LafargeHolcim and cement-and-concrete technology start-up Solidia Technologies has had a commercial breakthrough for its patented low-CO2 cement. It will supply that cement to EP Henry, a national concrete products supplier.

Solidia concrete product hardens by adding CO2 instead of water in a patented curing process that reduces the overall carbon footprint by up to 70 percent – achieved with a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions and a 30 percent reduction in energy during production. What’s more, this concrete can be made in a conventional cement kiln with the heat turned down, so it works within the existing systems of production.

While squeezing 70 percent of CO2 out of the production is an impressive achievement, it won’t be an effective solution unless more companies start to take up this sustainable alternative.

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