A case study from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) looking at a new, carbon-negative cement which is heading for manufacturing reality thanks to Novacem, a spin-out company from Imperial College London. EPSRC funding has played a key role in developing both the cement itself and the manufacturing process. A key constituent of buildings, roads and much more besides, cement holds the modern world together. Little wonder that global production is set to double to over five billion tonnes/year by 2050. But all of this comes at an environmental price, with the manufacture of Portland cement (the type most commonly used today) accounting for five percent of manmade CO2 emissions. Now, a team of engineers and scientists at Imperial College London have developed a carbon-negative cement that absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere during manufacture. This is because the cement isn’t limestone based, requires low process temperatures and contains carbon-negative additives. It could play a vital role in tackling climate change. With support from EPSRC and the London Development Agency, they identified a way of manufacturing such a cement which had the right physical properties and was economic to produce. EPSRC is a part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) partnership of research councils.

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