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Hanley: Cement future with less concrete

Imagine a 10-kilogram cube of gravel and cement being dropped off at your front door every morning, every day of the year. That would be equivalent to your share of global daily production of concrete which, next to water, is the most used material in the world. About three tonnes per capita of "construction minerals," more than 20 billion tonnes, are dug up and turned into concrete each year, according to a column by Paul Hanley in The Star Phoenix.

The material is used so widely that world concrete production contributes five per cent of annual humanmade carbon dioxide emissions. For every tonne of cement, one tonne of CO2 is produced. Concrete production is responsible for so much CO2 because making Portland cement requires significant amounts of energy to reach reaction temperatures of up to 15,000 Celsius. On top of that, the chemical reaction itself releases CO2.

Using the best cement kilns alone can reduce CO2 emissions by about 20 per cent. Efficiency measures could reduce energy demand further, potentially up to 40 per cent. Another approach focuses on alternative materials to replace the amount of cement used in concrete production. Studies have shown that when blended in the right proportion and activated properly, the use of supplementary cementing materials such as fly ash or slag can reduce emissions, and cut energy use and resource consumption while still producing cement with robust strength and performance.

Read the entire article from June 4 on The Star Phoenix' website:




Swedish Energy Ashes 9 June 2015


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