CD Designs Blog
There has never been a time when ecological issues have been more widely discussed. As awareness of global warming and our own personal carbon footprints has become widespread, we’ve all had to start thinking more about the impact that we as individuals, and as species, are having on our planet. As the pressure on all industries to act in a greener way has increased, there have been a number of breakthroughs in the development of ecologically friendly materials. One of these is a potentially revolutionary new type of cement.
A UK-based organisation called Novacem, connected to Imperial College London, have developed a cement with a difference. By replacing the limestone used in traditional cement production with magnesium silicates, they’ve developed a cement which requires much lower heating temperatures in the production process (650C compared to 1,500C), which saves energy. The new cement also gives off less carbon dioxide as it’s heated, reducing polluting emissions.
Even more impressive than that, once the cement has been combined with aggregates and water to make concrete, has been laid, and is beginning to set, it absorbs carbon dioxide in the air around it as part of its hardening process. It’s even possible for it to continue to do so after it has set. Novacem claim that their cement will absorb 0.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide for every tonne of cement.
The Carbon Trust has recognised the dramatic implications of this new cement; Novacem were finalists in the “Buildings” category of the Trust’s 2009 Innovation Awards. Of course, there will be a while to wait before this eco-friendly cement becomes a widely used industrial product. Novacem still have a patent pending on their cement, and there will be a few years of testing before it can be used for large scale construction projects. Still, it’s heartening to know that scientists and engineers are working towards (and succeeding in) coming up with solutions to the incredibly important issue of ecologically responsible construction.
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6th January 2010