LAUSANNE Ten per cent of the earth’s CO2 emissions are emitted by industrial processes related to the creation of cement. The widely used construction material negatively impacts on the environment at all stages of its production.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has now granted more than CHF 4 million to a project instigated by EPFL to accelerate the development of a new kind of cement, which substantially cuts carbon emissions.
The mix, developed in coordination with Indian, Cuban and Brazilian research centres, uses limestone and clay, creating an alternative to the widely used Portland mix, which produces 800kg of CO2 per ton of cement. Various tests have shown the viability of the product, known as LC3, both for producers and consumers. The worldwide availability of the components, plus the easy fabrication process, is deemed crucial to the future use of LC3 in industrial and developing countries alike. If successful, up to 40% of cement-related CO2 emissions could be reduced globally.