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2018-12-02. Betting on a new way to make concrete that doesn’t pollute.

posted Dec 5, 2018, 12:08 PM by Alan Gould
By Stanley Reed, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/02/climate/betting-on-a-new-way-to-make-concrete-that-doesnt-pollute.html] For GSS Energy Use chapter 10. Excerpt: ...a team from a company called Solidia Technologies ...based in Piscataway, N. J. [is] visiting England to test a new technology that the company hopes will dramatically reshape the manufacturing of concrete. Solidia says it can make this ubiquitous building material cheaper and at the same time reduce carbon dioxide emissions by essentially turning them into stone. Solidia’s big bet is that by tweaking the chemistry of cement, the key ingredient in these blocks and other concrete products, it can profit from helping to clean up an industry that is not only one of the largest on the planet but also one of the dirtiest. Cement plants are major league emitters of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for climate change. ...Because of the high heat and large amounts of energy needed as well as the chemical processes involved, making conventional or Portland cement — a process which requires high temperature kilns — produces as much as 7 percent of total global CO2 emissions. On a ton for ton basis, cement plants spew more carbon dioxide than any other manufacturing process, according to the International Energy Agency. ...Solidia claims it can reduce as much as 70 percent of that pollution by using different chemical formulas and smarter procedures to make cement. Ordinarily, for instance, concrete is cured or hardened in a reaction using water and steam. Solidia uses carbon dioxide instead. ... Carbon dioxide, collected from the flues of industrial plants, is pumped in from a nearby tank in amounts regulated by a system using sensors and computer software. Through a chemical reaction the CO2 is incorporated in synthetic limestone instead of being released into the atmosphere. The Solidia blocks are ready for use in 24 hours — a big potential advantage over ordinary pavers, which require a couple of weeks to harden....