Engineers invent cement that can eat globe-warming CO2January 1st, 2009 - 2:42 pm ICT by ANI
London, Jan 1 (ANI): Thanks to an innovation from British engineers, cement, a vast source of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2), could be transformed into a means of stripping the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
According to a report in the Guardian, Nikolaos Vlasopoulos, chief scientist at London-based Novacem, made the invention.
The new environment friendly formulation means the cement industry could change from being a significant emitter to a significant absorber of CO2, said Vlasopoulos.
Making the 2 billion tonnes of cement used globally every year pumps out 5 percent of the worlds CO2 emissions, which is more than the entire aviation industry.
In fact, the long-term trends are upwards. A recent report by the French bank Credit Agricole estimated that, by 2020, demand for cement will increase by 50 percent compared to today.
Making traditional cement results in greenhouse gas emissions from two sources: it requires intense heat, and so a lot of energy to heat up the ovens that cook the raw material, such as limestone. That then releases further CO2 as it burns.
But, until now, no one has found a large-scale way to tackle this fundamental problem.
Novacems cement, based on magnesium silicates, not only requires much less heating, it also absorbs large amounts of CO2 as it hardens, making it carbon negative.
According to Novacem, its product can absorb, over its lifecycle, around 0.6 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of cement.
Novacems cement, which has a patent pending on it, uses magnesium silicates that emit no CO2 when hearted. Its production process also runs at much lower temperatures, at around 650 degrees Celsius.
This leads to total CO2 emissions of up to 0.5 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of cement produced.
It has been estimated that the new cement has a vast potential market.
Set up by Vlasopoulos and his colleagues at Imperial College London, Novacem has already attracted the attention of major construction companies such as Rio Tinto Minerals, WSP Group and Laing ORourke, and investors including the Carbon Trust.
The company has just started a 1.5 million pounds project funded by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board to build a pilot plant.
If all goes well, Vlasopoulos expects to have Novacem products on the market within five years. (ANI)
- Mexican scientists develop eco-friendly cement - Mar 05, 2011
- Global CO2 emissions continue to soar - Jul 20, 2012
- Forests remove 2.4 bn tonnes of carbon from air - Aug 11, 2011
- Qantas planning 'green' planes that will fly using 'rubbish' as fuel - Jan 04, 2011
- Eating wisely can lower carbon footprint: Study (Lead) - May 14, 2012
- Slashing meat intake vital for curbing emissions - Apr 16, 2012
- Thawing arctic soil may release greenhouse gases - Nov 07, 2011
- Eating wisely can lower carbon footprint: Study - May 14, 2012
- Oceans absorbing half of greenhouse emission - Aug 02, 2012
- Halting carbon dioxide emissions cannot avert climate change - Jul 03, 2010
- Forests can store more carbon emissions than earlier thought - Jul 15, 2011
- Saline aquifers can store century's worth of CO2 emissions - Mar 22, 2012
- Hyderabad airport gets greenhouse certification - Apr 02, 2012
- 2 severe Amazon droughts in 5 years stir climate fear - Feb 04, 2011
- Texas tops US greenhouse gas emissions list - Jan 12, 2012
Tags: absorber, aviation industry, british engineers, carbon dioxide, cement industry, chief scientist, credit agricole, french bank, fundamental problem, globe warming, greenhouse gas emissions, imperial college london, intense heat, london jan, major construction, patent pending, potential market, raw material, silicates, term trends