Concrete Innovations

Concrete is currently a high-impact material, but its future could be bright with all the clever ideas and emerging technologies. Here’s one using wood waste. What else is out there in the concrete world?

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Exciting innovation! Though I’m wondering how much energy is going into the grinding process.

I was looking into Blue Planet Aggregate that uses sequestered carbon as aggregate. From the specs they show on their website, if it’s scalable and cost effective, it could do wonders for offsetting concrete GWP. Do you know anything about them @Vaclav? I know they’re based out of the Bay Area.

You are right about BluePlanet. If their claims are true it could sequester roughly double the carbon footprint of a typical concrete mix in some situations (if used as 100% coarse aggregate replacement).

It is being used on two projects we are working on but in very small amounts since the production capacity is not there yet. They are planning to open a new plant in the Bay Area soon though - hopefully it takes off from there. Also, hopefully, it follows with an EPD or LCA of some sort so there is a third-party verification on the true carbon sequestration potential.

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Hi Martin,
We are also working with them on research project to develop carbon negative concrete mixes. I believe their product has the potential to change the narrative regarding concrete. Currently no EPD as their full-scale manufacturing plant is under construction. But if you reach out to them they have plenty of information on the process.
regards,
Chris Drew
Adrian Smith +Gordon Gill Architecture

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@Vaclav @chrisdrew @martintorres I just joined this thread and I’ve been talking to a number of the reduced carbon concrete technology providers for an article. You might also want to investigate Carbon Upcycling Technologies in Calgary, which uses CO2 to create enhanced fly ash nanoparticles for 30% greater compression in cement, and Alkemy Environmental (Somerville, MA) which is not CO2 based but can use a variety of waste streams as feedstock for aggregate.

If you combine Blue Planet aggregate with CarbonCure Technology which uses the same CO2 mineralization as Blue Planet but is added to the concrete mix to reduce the amount of binder. Another interesting article I read if a proof of concept research conducted at MIT to use an electrochemical process to produce clinker versus current practice. Both interesting concepts. I’m currently working on my thesis in reducing embodied carbon in a buildings structure system so I have begun a little research on these alternatives. I’ll have to pay attention to this thread for additional insight.

http://go.carboncure.com/rs/328-NGP-286/images/CarbonCure%20Ready%20Mix%20Technology%20Case%20Studies.pdf

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Hm these sound like some interesting products! Do you know to what extent they’ve been used on projects and successful it was? Let me know when/where you post that article, I’d certainly like to read it.

This is really interesting - I wonder if it’s possible to couple this with the electrochemical synthesis of carbon nanotubes, somehow get the CO2 from the acid bath into the LiCO3 molten salt, value adding and sequestering the carbon at the same time… https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212982016302852

Take a look at Ultra High Materials, Inc. (www.ultrahighmaterials.com). They have developed and patented a portfolio of cements and concretes that are stronger, more durable, more heat and fire resistant, more corrosion resistant, faster setting, more cost effective and greener (already achieving 80-90% reduction in embedded carbon) than anything made using ordinary Portland cement (OPC).

The Port Authority of NY & NJ is seeking participation in a low carbon concrete committee being organized with regional general contracting associations and other stakeholders. Please reach out to dbailey@panynj.gov if you would be interested in helping the region move to lower carbon concrete for our infrastructure redevelopment programs and state of good repair maintenance work.

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