Construction

Economic factors prevent use of low-carbon cement

Heat recovery or increased use of fly ash and slag named as more effective measures

Portland cement Low CO2 alternatives to Portland cement “will have a poor shot at gaining support”, according to technology analyst Lux Research.
In a recent report, the company said measures which require the least commitment from manufacturers, are the only way to reduce overall C02 emissions; naming heat recovery or increased use of fly ash and slag. Such measures could reduce energy consumption by up to 65% and CO2 emissions up to 60%.
“New technologies must be commercially viable,” said the author of the report, Oliver Tassinari.
He went on to predict aerated and insulated concrete will increase in popularity as potential energy savings are more widely publicised.
“While customers may consider sustainability and carbon emissions when adopting new technologies, cost and energy savings are the most important variables when adoption is considered by manufacturers,” Tassinari added.
Annually, the construction industry is responsible for two billion tonnes of carbon output, which equates to around 6% of all human-generated carbon emissions.
“Low CO2 alternative materials to Portland cement will have a poor shot at gaining support,” said Tassinari.
“The materials are largely unproven and require substantial capital investment – leading to tremendous economic risks. Other barriers to adoption include demonstrating the materials’ performance under ASTM guidelines.”
Adding to the commercial pressures, the cement sector has already experienced drop in revenues this year, as reported in The Big Project in October. Project delays and over supply have contributed to an average 13.8% decline in revenues in the first half of 2010.

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