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World News May 23, 2024

Scientists say they can make zero-emission cement

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have made a significant breakthrough in reducing the carbon footprint of cement production, a major challenge in addressing climate change. Cement production is highly carbon-intensive, generating more than three times the emissions of global air travel, and accounts for nearly 8% of human-caused CO2 emissions.

The Cambridge team has developed a method to recycle cement using a modified process from steel manufacturing, which avoids the CO2 pollution typically associated with producing cement from scratch. This innovation, detailed in the journal Nature, involves using electric-powered furnaces and substituting a key ingredient with old cement from demolished buildings. This approach eliminates the need for the emissions-heavy process of heating limestone in kilns.

Julian Allwood, a co-author of the research, believes this method could lead to a “massive change” by enabling low-cost, low-emission cement production at scale. If powered by renewable energy, these furnaces could produce zero-emission concrete, potentially helping to achieve the Paris climate agreement’s goal of zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This development offers a promising solution to the growing demand for concrete and the challenge of reducing its environmental impact.

Source – CGTN

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