Beyond Zero Emissions plans CO2 neutral Australian cement sector

Beyond Zero Emissions plans CO2 neutral Australian cement sector
27 February 2018

Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) has set a plan for Australia’s cement industry to reach zero carbon emissions by the next decade. The Zero Carbon Industry plan ‘Rethinking Cement’ foresees a five point strategy to this goal with the biggest reduction coming from a switch to geopolymer cements.

The organisation believes that some 50 per cent of the domestic cement market could be replaced by geopolymer cements made from reacting a solid aluminosilicate material with an alkaline solution. A second strategy would be to use high-blended cements with low Portland cement volumes and a third strategy consists of carbon mineralisation. The fourth strategy would see the minimising of cement usage by 15 per cent and the final strategy would be to use carbon negative magnesium-based cements.

Currently BZE calculates that the Australian cements sector releases 6.3Mta of CO2 and geopolymer cements would reduce 2.7Mt of CO2 from this total with high-blended cements taking a further 1.9Mt of CO2 off.

Geopolymer cements have increased in popularity in Australia and are based on fly ash and ground granulates blast-furnace slag. These byproducts form the coal and steel industries are not the only sources for geopolymer cements, which can be made with materials with high aluminosilicates. Current research is focussed on making certain clays and volcanic ash and waste glass and red mud from the alumina industry into geopolymer cements. BZE also states that silicon and aluminium are found in abundant amounts on Australia which can be used to make geopolymer cements.

Current manufacturers of geopolymer cements in Australia are: Zeobond (E-Crete), Wagners (East Friendly Concrete), Rocla, Nu-Rock, Reinforced Concrete Pipes Australia eCP, Banah (BanahCEM), Ceratech Inc Ekkomaxx, Milliken Geopolymers, Murray & Roberts and National Metallurgical Laboratory.

This could be the next challenge to the Portland cement poducers of Boral, Cement Australia, Adelaide Brighton Sunstate, BGC Cement and Independent Cement which currently dominate cement sales in Australia.

Published under Cement News