Most of our built environment is formed by cement, the most commonly used human-made material. According to Chatham House, a London-based think tank, the manufacture of one of its main elements, cement, produces a large yet underappreciated amount of human-produced carbon dioxide: up to 8% of the global total, this makes us to think how low carbon cement combat climate change. Cement production, if it were a nation, would be the third-largest emitter after China and the United States, according to some estimates. According to Chatham House, four billion tonnes of cement are manufactured each year. Still, that number is projected to grow to five billion tonnes in the next 30 years due to increased urbanization. The use of fossil fuels to generate heat for cement manufacturing, as well as the chemical process in a kiln that converts limestone into clinker, which is then ground and mixed with other materials to produce cement, both contribute to emissions. So we should Know how low carbon cement combat climate change and all its benefits.
Every year, around 4.4 billion tonnes are created worldwide, enough to make a 47-foot-high, 10-foot-thick wall around the equator.
The influence of all that concrete is quantifiable, ranging from increasing the “urban heat island” effect on reducing rainwater’s ability to percolate into the soil. Carbon emissions are most likely the most prominent influence and also causes green house effect
According to some figures, cement production accounts for up to 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions, making it a significant contributor. In contrast, the International Energy Agency estimates that domestic heating and electricity output accounts for 11.3 per cent of global CO2 emissions. So we should make realize others how low carbon cement combat climate change.
Can Low carbon cement combat climate change?
After knowing the fact that how low carbon cement combat climate change isseue, the research groups worldwide are working on a range of impressive and successful innovations of low carbon cement that could combat and reduce the carbon footprint of cement production and usage. Some are already in use and are cost-effective, while others are being produced in laboratories and maybe even better.
Despite the fact that the construction industry is usually resistant to change for several reasons, including protection and durability, the pressure to reduce its contribution to climate change may well hasten disruption. The Global Cement and Concrete Association, which represents about 30% of global production, released the industry’s first Sustainability Guidelines in 2018, a collection of critical measures such as pollution and water use that will be used to monitor and publicize performance improvements.
Meanwhile, a number of low-carbon cement approaches are being investigated, with some already in use. Solidia, a startup in Piscataway, New Jersey, is using a chemical process approved by Rutgers University that has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 30%. In contrast to conventional methods, this recipe uses more clay, less limestone, and less heat. When the cement is used to make concrete, instead of water, it is cured with carbon dioxide, which absorbs up to 70% of the CO2. Not only does the process conserve water, which is a selling point in arid areas, but it also takes only 24 hours to heal. Solidia estimates that its process will “eliminate at least 1.5 GT of CO2, conserve 3 trillion litres of freshwater, and minimize energy demand by up to 260 million barrels of oil.” Other industries are taking more radical steps of producing low carbon cement, such as injecting CO2 into concrete as it is being manufactured, as a method of carbon sequestration with a slew of additional benefits. CarbonCure, based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, uses mineralization to store CO2 collected from other manufacturing processes in concrete rather than releasing it into the environment as a waste product. CarbiCrete, based in Montreal, replaces cement in concrete with steel slag, a by-product of the steelmaking process. Norcem, a major cement producer in Norway, plans to convert one of its plants into the world’s first zero-emissions cement factory. The facility currently uses waste-derived alternative fuels and plans to incorporate carbon capture and storage technologies by 2030 to eliminate pollution.
Every little bit helps, but when global demand for concrete is measured in billions of tonnes, no matter how productive the industry becomes, it will continue to produce gigatons of carbon dioxide. Some businesses address the other half of the equation by developing technologies to trap carbon dioxide generated by concrete manufacturing.
Furthermore, bacteria have been introduced into cement formulations in order to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and improve their properties. BioMason in Raleigh, N.C., is one of the companies pursuing “living” building materials. It “grows” cement-like bricks using bacteria and aggregate particles. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder used photosynthetic microbes called cyanobacteria to create a lower-carbon concrete, which was sponsored by DARPA and published in the journal Matter in February. They used bacteria to inoculate a sand-hydrogel scaffold, resulting in bricks that can self-heal cracks.
In all of today’s uses, these low carbon cement bricks will not replace cement and concrete. However, they can one day be able to replace light-duty load-bearing materials like pavers, facades, and temporary structures. The wait should be brief. Customers are interested in sustainable practices, and this interest is growing. Thanks to tools like EC3, demonstrating to builders which materials use the least amount of carbon is now easy. Meanwhile, processes like CarbonCure can be retrofitted into an existing plant in a single day with no capital costs and no material or production method adjustments.
Low Carbon Cement innovations are paving the way forward. In this way low carbon cement can combat climate change and its affects on others.