In today’s world, it is important that items be environmentally friendly. While most people think about this with items they purchase, it is not often thought about with building materials, read our previous article about green building here. However, there are new advancements that have made greener concrete a good possibility.
How is Concrete Green & Why is this Important?
There are a number of ways that a product can be environmentally friendly. In the case of this concrete, it is a matter of reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. They have accomplished this by changing the formula used to create the concrete. On top of this, the concrete is actually stronger and more durable, which means that it has the potential to last longer than other concrete, which helps to make it even more environmentally friendly.
Everyone understands the dangers of greenhouse gases, but not many people understand how much concrete contributes to this. Studies have shown that approximately 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions are from concrete production. The new manufacturing process can cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by about half. While there are still other emissions to consider with this, such as the emissions from the vehicles that transport the concrete, this is still a significant reduction in the amount of emissions produced from one of the largest segments of man made greenhouse gas emissions.
How it Works
When creating the concrete calcium and silica, among other ingredients, are used to make the clincher, one of the most essential elements in the concrete process. Typically, the ratio of calcium to silica is 1.7 to 1. However, through research it has been found that having a calcium to silica ratio of 1.5 to 1 is the optimal ratio. This is what not only produces the greener concrete but stronger as well. This mixture has been tested and has been found to be twice as strong as compounds that utilize a 1.7 to 1 ratio in mechanical tests.
The creation of this concrete was not by accident. In fact, it is the result of a five year long study done in a joint lab by MIT and CNRS. They completed many experiments and calculations before finding just the right formulation, which they say may be able to reduce carbon emissions as much as 60% .
What Does This Mean for Regular Carbon?
Since this is new, it is not something that every company will have right away. However, it does present a new way of thinking that is very exciting. It seems that aside from the residential market, that this concrete could present a better option for the oil and gas industries. Not only by reducing emissions but by creating a more resistant concrete. This is essential to their business, as leakages and blowouts are costly.