New cement is carbon negative

February 24, 2011

novacem

Cement is one of the most significant single sources for carbon emissions, due to the intense energy required for its production and the volumes of it that are produced annually, as well as from material itself, but an alternative is now available. It doesn't just reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted, it actually binds more CO2 than is emitted from its production, which makes its production carbon negative.

Novacem has developed a new cement that uses magnesium silicate instead of calcium compounds. The new material is supposed to have performance and cost comparable to ordinary Portland cement. Furthermore, because the production of magnesium silicate is a lower energy process, it can be manufactured using biofuel, instead of requiring more intensive and polluting energy sources.

The company also notes that "production of our cement is carbon negative; more carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed during the process than is emitted." Manufacturing a tonne of this cement results in the absorption of up to 100 kg (220 lbs) of carbon dioxide more than is emitted in the process.

Magnesium oxide is widely available as well, so there should not be an issue of material scarcity with the use of this as a Portland cement replacement. The company is not producing the material itself, but is instead seeking to license its technology to producers.

via: Jetson Green

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