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Title: Performance, Durability and Life Cycle Impacts of Concrete Produced with CO2 as an Admixture

Author(s): Sean Monkman, Ryan Cialdella, and Jose Pacheco

Publication: Materials Journal

Volume: 120

Issue: 1

Appears on pages(s): 53-62

Keywords: admixture; carbon dioxide use; carbon footprint; durability; Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs); life cycle analysis; sustainability

DOI: 10.14359/51734732

Date: 1/1/2023

An important part of improving the embodied carbon of the built environment is reducing carbon emissions associated with concrete. The long-term limitations around the availability of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) to replace portland cement have driven the search for additional innovative approaches. The beneficial use of carbon dioxide (CO2) in ready mixed concrete production has been developed and installed as retrofit technology with industrial users. An optimum dose of CO2 added to concrete as an admixture leads to the in-place formation of mineralized calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and can increase the concrete compressive strength. The improved performance can be leveraged to design concrete mixture proportions for a more efficient use of portland cement, along with the use of CO2 to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete. One producer has used the technology, starting in 2016, at over 50 plants. More than 3 million m3 of concrete have been shipped with an estimated net savings of 35,000 tonnes of CO2. The concrete produced with carbon dioxide is discussed in terms of the fresh and hardened performance, durability performance, and life cycle impacts.