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US companies make strides in carbon-free concrete

14th December 2021 by Sean Couldwell Concrete 0 comments

Several research projects are in motion that are developing carbon-free concrete.

Concrete has been used to construct buildings since ancient Roman times, as it is a cost effective and versatile material used for flooring, walls, bridges, high rise offices, and more. When strengthened with steel, concrete structures are extremely strong.

However, every ton of concrete produced creates carbon emissions, so this has prompted research teams to look at how to make concrete a zero-carbon material without sacrificing its many attributes.

Brimstone Energy, a Silicon Valley start-up, is researching ways to replace limestone in concrete with calcium silicate, which is carbon-free and easy to obtain.

Meanwhile, Biomason, based in North Carolina, is using strains of bacteria that produce carbon emission-free calcium carbonate. When the bacteria are mixed with cement, this both increases the strength of concrete and makes it carbon-free. The technology has been licensed to Dutch manufacturer IBF, which intends to produce carbon-free cement in Europe.

Though they may not yet be producing carbon-free concrete, many other manufacturers are succeeding in making concrete flooring and other building components with fewer carbon emissions, while architects are designing more eco-friendly buildings constructed from sustainable materials. Wood and other alternative materials are being used, but these materials are more expensive than concrete.

Concrete remains the standard construction material for most commercial buildings. Carbon-free concrete will make buildings more eco-friendly and should not cost significantly more than traditionally made concrete. The material has been around thousands of years and, with the help of emissions-reducing technology, will no doubt continue to be used for many years to come.

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