Recently, in Switzerland, researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EFPL) had announced the completion of the first phase of the development of a radically new on the composition and structure of the cement mixture.
According to the developers, it will significantly reduce the carbon footprint almost by 40 percent, remaining from the modern industrial concrete production.
The consortium was provided with grant from the Swiss Agency for development and cooperation (SDC) to accelerate the process of development of this new cement named LC3 (Limestone Calcined Clay Cement) and will begin further research soon.
The challenge has been to make greener cement and reduce C02 emissions but maintain the strength and durability of the cement in the process.
EFPL discovered green cement by accident. It was created from calcined clay and ground limestone. But when they were added in large amounts to a concrete mixture the aluminates from the clay interacted with the calcium carbonates from the limestone forming a cement paste that was less porous and stronger than traditional cement.
A prime benefit of the eco-friendly cement will be that approx. Rs. 60,000 crores will be saved in capital investment over 8 years.
In addition, there will be around 10- 20 percent reduction in production cost of cement.
A 20-30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from current average emissions of 0.82 tons of CO2 per ton of cement produced is estimated.
Besides, production of 300 Million tons of LC3 will reduce emissions by approximately 80 Million tons of CO2 every year, which is expected to double every 8 to 12 years.
It is expected that, around 50- 60 increase in limestone mine life can be achieved. Thus, the current limestone reserves will last for roughly 75 to 85 years based on industry figures.
The increased availability of resources to produce cements will prevent the rise in prices of cement, which will reduce building construction costs.
LC3 has the potential to become a benchmark material for low-carbon concrete because clay and limestone are abundant materials found all over the world.