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C-Crete Technologies pours world's first basalt-based concrete

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

C-Crete Technologies, a pioneer in the development of cement-free concretes devoid of CO2 emissions, announces its deployment of the world’s first basalt-based concrete, another significant move forward in the company’s development of eco-conscious construction materials.

C-Crete Technologies pours world's first basalt-based concrete

The 14 March pour at 7200 Woodlawn in Seattle was for a 20 t, slab-on-grade outdoor concrete foundation for a loading dock stem wall and partial ramp replacement using basalt as the primary binder entirely replacing Portland cement. This pour builds upon previous successful pours at the same building, called Hubbard’s Corner, bringing the total to about 140 t of C-Crete’s cement-free concretes, each employing a distinct feedstock, such as zeolite or basalt.

Basalt is primarily composed of silicon, aluminium and calcium, three of the Earth’s most abundant elements. In terms of volume, it is more abundant than the limestone used for manufacturing Portland cement. But unlike Portland cement – which contributes to about 8% of global CO2 emissions due to the chemical processes and high heat needed to turn limestone into cement powder – basalt is a naturally occurring, non-carbonate rock that can be ground into cement powder, effectively eliminating the environmental concerns of production.

Moreover, the curing process of basalt-based concrete captures CO2 from the atmosphere, further enhancing its eco-friendly profile.

“With the living laboratory of Hubbard’s Corner, this field trial moves C-Crete’s basalt-based C1157 concrete from a novel material to a pilot-ready concrete for bigger projects”, said Donald Davies, a longtime construction industry executive who is owner of the Seattle building and chair of Building Transparency, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to enabling the building industry to address embodied carbon’s role in climate change. “This pour was that research and development step that proves an idea works, with validation from a real-world placement.”

C-Crete’s basalt-based concrete boasts compressive strength exceeding 5000 psi. It demonstrates pumpability, workability, setting time and surface finish akin to conventional concrete while meeting ASTM International standards for mechanical and durability properties, a fact verified by independent third parties. Crucially, it achieves these feats while maintaining cost-parity with conventional concrete.

“It seems like the basalt concrete solves multiple problems, and I’d like to see the product work, because it would advance civilisation dramatically”, said Allan Paull, a construction executive with 44 years of experience in the industry. “If C-Crete can use any feedstock and not have to vitrify it with a heating process, then it really has solved the problem of getting away from this big energy-intensive process. That’s what’s exciting about this product.

“If it is tested, then used successfully, I think adoption [by the industry] would come relatively rapidly. Because cement companies are going to want to adopt this technology, just like the steel industry converted from [coal] blast furnaces to electric arc furnaces.”

The utilisation of basalt is just one of the versatile materials in C-Crete Technologies portfolio of patented cement-free concretes, each leveraging abundant local materials as cementitious binders.

“Our successful deployment of the first-ever basalt-based concrete underscores our commitment to pushing the construction industry to quickly expand the use of cement-free concretes”, said Rouzbeh Savary, founder and president of C-Crete Technologies. “By harnessing the potential of untapped, naturally occurring non-carbonate rocks like basalt and zeolite – each available at least in the order of several billion/trillion tons – we’re getting closer to our mission to use local Earth’s crust composition as eco-conscious feedstocks for manufacturing cement-free concrete.”

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