This new concrete reduces its carbon footprint by over 70%

Sustainability |  2 min. read

There are a lot of things you can do with concrete.  But we’re going to guess that no matter how long your list is – cleaning the air isn’t on it.

You can add that to the list now though.

Here’s the (brief) background:   Concrete is made up of three things:  water, rock (or crushed rock, aka sand or gravel) and cement.  And cement, it turns out, all by itself, accounts for 5 to 7 percent of CO2 (carbon dioxide).  Worldwide.  Every year.

So since the world uses a LOT of concrete every year (it’s the second-most used substance on the planet*) – that’s a lot of cement, a lot of CO2, and since more carbon dioxide in the air  – that’s a lot of problem.

Here’s the (new) solution:  a different way to make cement and concrete, that altogether reduces its “carbon footprint” by as much as 70 PERCENT.

An American company, Solidia Technologies figured out how to do it.  A fuels and petrochemical company, BP, is investing in the project to bring this new technology into the real world.

The trick (well, two tricks, really) is first:  making the cement at a lower temperature (and with less limestone) – which cuts greenhouse gas emissions; and second: making a concrete from that cement, which actually (and permanently) absorbs CO2 as it is hardening.

Not only is this new process a lot more friendly to the environment – this concrete is stronger and more durable.  It uses a lot less water to make.  And it looks pretty good too…

(Photo from BP)

…well, as concrete blocks go.

And if you figure that each year, we use enough concrete to build about 1500 of these…

(that’s Hoover Dam)…that’s not just another chip off the old (concrete) block.

*And in case you were wondering, the most-used substance is water.