Read part two here.
Public and academic partners join the effort
An impressive array of public sector organisations have also joined Solidia in the quest to characterise and commercialise its sustainable technology. Prominent among these is the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL). To date, an ongoing research project has been funded with US$1.1 million from the DOE-NETL through its Carbon Storage Technology Program and US$1 million from Solidia Technologies as a cost share. DOE-NETL supports Solidia Cement-based concrete technology because of its potential to consume CO2 as it cures.
The project has focused on developing an understanding of the relationships between the water use, CO2-curing time, and mechanical strength of Solidia Cement-based concrete. The research has demonstrated that Solidia Concrete can achieve full hardness in less time than traditional OPC-based concrete. In every application studied, Solidia Concrete cures in less than 24 hours. In addition, at every stage of curing, Solidia Concrete parts match or exceed the strength of comparable products made with OPC-based concrete.
DOE-NETL recently agreed to finance the project’s next stage, which will focus on demonstrating this CO2 reduction and storage capability on a prototype scale in a commercial concrete plant.
“As an alternative building material with a lower carbon footprint, Solidia Cement is an excellent example of the innovative technologies DOE’s Carbon Storage Program advances in its mission to promote solutions for reducing CO2 emissions,” stated NETL Carbon Storage Technology Manager Traci Rodosta. “We’re hopeful that the commercial success of Solidia Cement will encourage the view that CO2 has untapped value as a commodity.”
Other collaborators include the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (USDOT-FHWA), the US Environmental Protection Agency, Purdue University, The University of South Florida and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
USDOT-FHWA supports Solidia through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). This agreement governs a programme conducted at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Centre where the mechanical, chemical and environmental durability of Solidia Concrete has been systematically examined and confirmed vis-à-vis transportation infrastructure applications.
Research programmes at Purdue University and the University of South Florida also focus on the durability of Solidia Concrete. Purdue has characterised the behaviour of Solidia Concrete in freeze-thaw, in freeze-thaw with de-icing salts, and in sulfate environments. South Florida is assessing the corrosion of rebar and the overall performance of reinforced Solidia Concrete in a variety of simulated service conditions.
Long-term research at Rutgers, where the original generation of the Solidia Concrete technology was developed, continues to focus on the optimisation of the CO2-curing process.
The Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development set 2050 CO2 reduction targets for the global cement industry. Hypothetically, if the industry were to adopt Solidia’s technologies today, it could achieve those 2050 goals within three years.
The partnerships between Solidia, Lafarge, Linde, CDS, US government agencies and university laboratories marry the scientific innovation of a start-up with the market intelligence and global infrastructure of established industry leaders, and the expertise, facilities and funding available in the public and academic sectors. By developing a means of transforming CO2 into a valuable commodity for one of the world’s largest industries, the collaborations will help speed the market penetration and social impact, re-categorising CO2 as a catalyst for profitability and growth. Together, they create a sustainable pathway for the cement and concrete industry with the development of new technologies that offer cost savings and added value without burdening the industry with significant capital investments or dramatic changes in production.
This is part 3 of a three-part article written by Dr Nicholas DeCristofaro, Solidia Technologies, USA for World Cement’s September issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the September 2015 issue here.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/special-reports/08092015/reducing-the-clinker-factor-part-3-497/