British engineers are hopeful that a new environmentally friendly formula for cement will not only eliminate the 5% of the world’s carbon emissions that come from cement, but actually help to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. The Novacem company’s invention has received support and funding from environmentalists as well as the business and industry sector.
Traditional cement uses intense heat to cook limestone and other raw material. Burning fuels to create the heat results in CO2 and the cooking process releases CO2 that is trapped in the materials being cooked.
Novacem uses magnesium silicates rather than traditional materials. The silcates need far less heating to be made ready. The resulting concrete ingredients absorb large amounts of CO2 as they harden resulting in a net negative carbon impact. If renewable energy sources can be used in the manufacture, the positive result of negative carbon could be increased.
The company expects to have the product on the market by 2014.
The YouTube Video above shows the pollution being burped out near Rustavi, Georgia by a cement plant operated by Heilelberg Cement, one of the largest cement producers in the world. The related story and comments on YouTube are worth a read.