Feature: Chemical Engineering
CarbonCure Technologies of Halifax injects CO directly into concrete moulds, thus sequestering the greenhouse gas within the finished product.
By Tyler Hamilton
Energy-intensive industries worldwide are actively exploring ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their products and the cement and concrete industry is no exception. Worldwide it represents an estimated five per cent of human- caused carbon dioxide emissions, mostly because extremely high temperatures are needed to bake the limestone and clay powders that form cement, the active ingredient in concrete. Tremendous amounts of fossil fuels are burned to get to those temperatures, which can reach 1,500 C.
Makers of cement have explored a number of options to reduce their emissions. Some are using biomass, such as locally grown switchgrass, to displace coal and petroleum coke in cement kilns. Others see algae as a way to capture kiln emissions and turn them into biofuels. Concrete makers, meanwhile, are including more recycled materials in their products and coming up with new formulas that reduce the amount of cement in their overall mix.
CarbonCure Technologies Inc. of Halifax is promoting an altogether different approach that has great potential in the market for precast concrete. ...
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