Searching for greener concrete

19 Dec 2014

This half day meeting in April 2015 on Making Concrete Greener aims to build on the successful discussions from the Low Carbon Cements event held in 2010.

Most concrete is produced with Portland cement, whose manufacture produces large amounts of carbon dioxide due to energy used and the calcination of CaCO3 during the process of heating limestone to 1,450°C, which both releases and creates a significant amount CO2. Recent data on global CO2 emissions from cement manufacture give an overall average of 0.88 tonnes per tonne of cement produced accounting for an estimated 7.5% of total global man-made CO2 emissions. The majority of concrete is produced using only a minor proportion of cement but the industry has been slow in promoting the fact that the real embodied carbon is relatively low when compared to clay for example.

There is real pressure to reduce embodied carbon during the manufacture of concrete and this has led the industry to increase the extent to which Portland cement is substituted by other ingredients that are currently approved in the existing norms, such as granulated blast furnace slag (ggbs), pulverized fuel ash (pfa), natural pozzolans and limestone.

Over the past decade, the industry has seen the emergence of a promising new alternative to Portland cement, in the form of reactive magnesium cements, whereby naturally occurring magnesium carbonate is heated to just 750°C and essentially sets and hardens by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

During the meeting, six papers will be presented which afford an insight into some of the cutting edge research that has recently and continues to take place in the development of low carbon concretes and their component cements and aggregates.

This event will be of interest to chemists, students, researchers, specifying authorities and practitioners from the construction, concrete and concrete products manufacturing and related industries. It will appeal to those who wish to know how new technologies may contribute to more sustainable construction.

Join us for this half day event at SCI, London on 17 April 2015. Registration is now open, book before 6 March 2015 to enjoy early bird rates.

John Fifield,
Construction Materials Group

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