Imagine Freeways Being Carbon Sinks

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[social_buttons]It seems like only yesterday that we covered an invention of “Green” cement at Cleantechnica:

The latest scheme for getting rid of the greenhouse gas comes from Stanford Professor Brent Constanz. The Geological and Environmental Sciences Professor has invented a new type of cement that is carbon neutral—a huge innovation for a material whose production process normally spews vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Today another start-up raised $1.7 million to fund a pilot plant making “Green” cement. But Novacem; a British spin-out from similarly government-funded research at Imperial College London, is going one step further than making lower carbon cement.

They are attempting to make a cement that actually sequesters carbon.

They plan a pilot plant to make their carbon-absorbing cement by 2011 funded by The Royal Society Enterprise Fund, the London Technology Fund and Imperial Innovations. Rio Tinto is providing the raw material; magnesium silicates.

As we adopt more stringent building codes to reduce carbon emissions, green cement is going to go mainstream. Legislation pending in the US makes zero carbon building mandatory by 2030 if the new climate bill passes in its current form.  Low carbon cement is needed not only for buildings, but for also for binding together concrete freeway overpasses.

Novacem’s cement will actually absorb more carbon dioxide over its life cycle than it emits. The technique is very simple. Instead of using limestone; they make cement from magnesium silicates which don’t emit CO2 in manufacture—and then they go on to actually absorb carbon dioxde as they age.

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