Mexican scientists develop eco-friendly cement

March 5th, 2011 - 9:59 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, March 5 (IANS/EFE) Scientists in Mexico are developing a new type of cement that will reduce carbon-dioxide emission by up to 80 percent while the amount of energy consumed in the production process will be lowered by as much as 50 percent.

Scientists at the Research and Advanced Studies Centre - or Cinvestav - have been developing several types of cement alternatives for the past 13 years, including one with greater resistance and durability and with less environmental and economic impact, a statement said.

“Cement is the second most consumed product in the world after water due to population growth that in many cities requires the development of infrastructure, buildings and homes,” it said.

The intensive use of cement was detrimental to the environment, which is being bombarded with large quantities of carbon dioxide produced in making the construction material, the statement said.

Project head Jose Ivan Escalante Garcia said the idea was to develop a replacement for Portland cement, which is most widely used by the global construction industry.

“For every kilogram of this type of cement that is produced, exactly the same amount of carbon dioxide is released,” he said.

Around 2.5 billion tonnes of cement is manufactured worldwide each year and that production accounts for more than eight percent of the planet’s human-caused, greenhouse-gas emission.

He said that in the traditional cement-making process, large amounts of carbon dioxide is emitted due to the use of coal or coke to heat limestone, clay and shale at temperatures as high as 1,450 degrees Celsius to obtain a compound called clinker, which is mixed with gypsum and milled into powder to produce cement.

By contrast, geopolymer-based cement is processed at temperatures of just 750 degrees Celsius.

Escalante’s team plans to start field tests soon and obtain even better results than they have from laboratory research.


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