Scientists find sustainable alternative to cement in industrial residues

Signal of change / Scientists find sustainable alternative to cement in industrial residues

By Ryan Jones / 24 May 2019

A report by scientists at Martin Luther University found that industrial residues offer a high-quality and climate-friendly alternative to cement.

Making cement, which is used for concrete, accounts for 8% of global emissions each year, a third as much carbon pollution as the world’s entire transportation sector. The team experimented with both aluminium and kaolin, the former a soft clay used in manufacturing of porcelain, paper, rubber and paint and many other products.


So what?

The huge advantage the alternative offers is that both aluminium and kaolin release no carbon dioxide themselves during the processing. Concrete’s strength, durability and water resistance has made the material indispensable for the growth of the todays world. China alone used more concrete in the last three years then the United States in the last 100 years, with new mega cities on the horizon throughout the country. With manufacturing and construction making up more than 25% of global emissions, it’s imperative to find a substitute to lessen our dependency on concrete. Can the product be scaled and become cost competitive in time to make a difference? Will the construction industry stay stagnant while expanding the megacities of tomorrow?


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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