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New Technology Captures Carbon To Create Cement

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Gabriel Falzone/UCLA
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Cement production makes up eight percent of man-made carbon emissions. But a new technology developed by the University of California, Los Angeles might change that.

Iman Mehdipour, UCLA project scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Samueli School of Engineering, was part of a team that developed CO2Concrete. That technology uses flue gas from power plants to make cement, which is the biggest component in concrete.

"We utilize the carbon dioxide permanently and directly. We converted the carbon dioxide into some solid minerals. We inject it into the construction materials," he said. "We were able to reduce the cement."

The team tested their technique at the Integrated Test Center in Gillette.

"We were able to decarbonize the construction products and decrease the CO2 intensity between 50 and 70 percent compared to traditional cement-based blocks," said Mehdipour.

He said CO2Concrete performs and costs about the same as traditional concrete, and the technology is actually easier to integrate than carbon capture because they don't have to purify the flue gas.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu.

Ashley is a PhD student in Astronomy and Physics at UW. She loves to communicate science and does so with WPM, on the Astrobites blog, and through outreach events. She was born in Colorado and got her BS in Engineering Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Ashley loves hiking and backpacking during Wyoming days and the clear starry skies at night!
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