Development in Sustainable Concrete Material

Photo Credit: http://luskin.ucla.edu/
Photo Credit: http://luskin.ucla.edu/

At UCLA an interdisciplinary research team is recycling carbon dioxide in an innovative process to develop sustainable building material.

Carbon Upcycling consists of 13 UCLA faculty members, students and staff from various fields such as engineering, chemistry and public policy. “The team works to incorporate carbon dioxide into raw material that can be recycled into sustainable building material”, said Gaurav Sant, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and the team leader.

Carbon Upcycling, formed in 2014, entered the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition last month.

XPRIZE is a nonprofit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit mankind. The XPRIZE challenges scientists, engineers and other innovators to convert carbon dioxide into valuable products. Winners will be announced in March 2020 and will receive up to $7.5 million each.

Each entry is a paper submission consisting of a demonstration of what technology it applies to reduce carbon dioxide and how it can be carried out commercially in the real world.

“Entering this competition is an incentive for us to turn a concept demonstrated in our lab into reality,” Sant said. “Traditional cement production is responsible for 5 to 7 percent of humans’ annual carbon emission. The cement produced, once used to make concrete, cannot be easily reused, he added.”

Sant continued by explaining that “what we want to do is to transform what is viewed as the problem into part of the solution, this is what ‘carbon upcycling’ means.”

The researchers on the team developed a cycle wherein carbon dioxide can be used to rapidly transform lime into limestone that can react with carbon dioxide. Manufacturing facilities can then use the limestone as the raw material for building material in the future.

“It is an approach that closes the loop from manufacturing to the reuse of building material,” Sant said.

According to Bu Wang, team member and a civil and environmental engineering postdoctoral scholar, “the new material made from carbon dioxide-recycled limestone is as strong as traditional cement and also more efficient for construction because it shortens the material’s cooling time.”

“Traditional cement needs to cool for three to seven days before another layer can be built on the top, but this new material only needs two to four hours,” Wang said. “Applying this material will significantly speed up the construction.”

Wang explains “reusing carbon dioxide reduces the amount of it in the atmosphere and increases its value.”

“Researchers on the team produce the new building material with a 3-D printer, which increases the efficiency of shaping materials,” said Gabriel Falzone, team member and a civil and environmental engineering doctoral student. “Shaping becomes more efficient and more precise than the traditional way of pouring cement into a mold.”

Richard Kaner, team member and a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, added, “capturing pure carbon dioxide for reaction requires a membrane that filters other gases.” Kaner is responsible for developing a membrane for the project that separates oil from water.

The XPRIZE competition requires the project to be feasible under real-world conditions, in terms of both technology and economic value. The challenge the team faces now is to develop the production from a lab scale to a commercial scale.

Sant stated that, “he is confident this new building material will attract commercial investment.” In addition Sants believes new products and solutions are often expensive when first proposed, but the technology will naturally become more accessible with time.

The team is optimistic that mass production of this new material will effectively mitigate the contemporary climate change problem.

“Engineers have been using cement for about 200 years and the accumulated carbon emissions are striking,” Sant said. “Our solution aims to resolve this problem and we believe it could make a big difference in the future.”

Carbon Upcycling: Turning Carbon Dioxide into CO2NCRETE from UCLA Luskin on Vimeo.

Source: http://dailybruin.com/2016/07/04/ucla-research-team-developing-efficient-recycled-concrete-material/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Roxi press release

Giatec’s Pioneering AI Programs for Sustainable Concrete Testing and Reducing CO2 Emissions

In late 2020, Giatec announced that our artificial intelligence (AI) program RoxiTM has been trained with the funding provided by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), which will help in the reduction of cement usage during concrete testing. For those that are unfamiliar with Roxi’s functions, require deeper insights into how and why this funding came about, or are curious about the approach Giatec takes towards AI in the concrete industry, we encourage you to dive right into this blog post. Make sure to check out other linked resources throughout the article…

Concrete strength monitoring with thermocouples

Choosing the Right Concrete Thermocouple for Your Jobsite

What Is a Concrete Thermocouple?  In layman’s terms, a thermocouple is an electric device that measures temperature, essentially making it a type of thermometer. That being said, it is not the kind of thermometer you would use to measure your body temperature when running a fever, or to deduce what the atmospheric weather is today, or as an in-built mechanism within your refrigerators and heaters. So, what exactly sets a concrete thermometer apart?  It takes two metals to form a thermocouple, both of which are wires that are welded, crimped, or twisted together, and It takes two metals to form a thermocouple, both of which are…

The Importance of Monitoring Temperature Differentials in Mass Concrete

Closely monitoring concrete temperatures is critical for ensuring proper strength development of concrete structures, regardless of their application or size. However, when it comes to mass concrete structures, temperature differentials also need to be considered due to the risk of a large difference between the relatively hot internal temperature and cool surface temperature. If a too-large temperature differential occurs, the surface of mass concrete will start cracking, which is detrimental to its durability and the length of its service life. What is Mass Concrete? Mass concrete…

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, analyze site traffic and assist in our marketing efforts. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy Page.