Case Studies of CO2 Utilization in Concrete

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Title: Case Studies of CO2 Utilization in Concrete

Author(s): Sean Monkman and Mark MacDonald

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 303

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 33-44

Keywords: carbonation; carbon dioxide; concrete masonry unit; ready-mixed concrete; sustainability; upcycling

Date: 6/1/2015

Abstract:
While the cement industry is currently working on a number of initiatives to reduce CO2 associated with cement production (i.e. thermal and electrical efficiency, alternative fuels and clinker substitution) a significant CO2 mitigation is still desired and will require novel solutions. The reaction of carbon dioxide with hydrating cement is known to produce stable carbonate reaction products. These reactions can serve to effectively bind CO2 in the cement matrix during the fresh state while offering material benefits. Carbonation treatments have been integrated into industrial concrete production. Producers can sequester carbon dioxide in their products and more favorably position concrete in a competitive green building product marketplace. The case studies examine the application of carbon dioxide to concrete masonry production (strength, absorption and density) and ready-mix concrete production (workability, strength). The carbon dioxide integration has minimal impact on conventional process operations and works with existing production equipment. Estimates of the net environmental impact are made.