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Eco-cement

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Eco-cement

Eco-Cement is a brand-name for a type of cement which incorporates reactive magnesia (sometimes called caustic calcined magnesia or magnesium oxide, MgO), another hydraulic cement such as Portland cement, and optionally pozzolans and industrial by-products, to reduce the environmental impact relative to conventional cement. One problem with the commercialization of this cement, other than the conservatism of the building industry, is that the feedstock magnesite is rarely mined.

Energy requirements

Ordinary Portland cement requires a kiln temperature of around 1450°C. The reactive magnesia in Eco-Cement requires a lower kiln temperature of 750°C,[1] which lowers the energy requirements, and hence the use of fossil fuels and emission of carbon dioxide (CO2).

CO2 sequestration

Eco-Cement sets and hardens by sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere and is recyclable. The rate of absorption of CO2 varies with the degree of porosity and the amount of MgO. Carbonation occurs quickly at first and more slowly towards completion. A typical Eco-Cement concrete block would be expected to fully carbonate within a year.

Waste utilization

Eco-Cement is able to incorporate a greater number of industrial waste products as aggregate than Portland cement as it is less alkaline. This reduces the incidence of alkali-aggregate reactions which cause damage to hardened concrete.[2] Eco-Cement also has the ability to be almost fully recycled back into cement, should a concrete structure become obsolete.

References

  1. ^ Smith, P: "Architecture in a Climate of Change", page 206. Elsevier, 2005, ISBN 0-7506-6544-0
  2. ^ Swamy, R: "The Alkali-silica Reaction in Concrete", page 46. Taylor & Francis, 1992, ISBN 0-216-92691-2

Further reading

External links

  • ABC New Inventors Segment (RealPlayer)
  • Discovery Channel (Canada) on Eco-Cement (Windows Media Player)
  • Independent appraisals of the technology
  • Alternative to low-carbon Eco-cement: Making cement while sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, Issue 127, July 2008; Retrieved 2008-07-20.
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