New material research aims to reduce the environmental impact of cement and steel industries

New material research aims to reduce the environmental impact of cement and steel industries
22 December 2021

Researchers from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield are developing processes and technologies for the sustainable manufacture of cement, by incorporating iron-rich by-products from the steel industry.
The research programme, which starts in June 2022, will be known as 'FeRICH: developing iron-rich cement for the valorisation and upcycling of steel slags'. It will look at ways to upcycle the by-products of the steel industry, leading to the production of iron-rich cements, and the formulation of final cement and concrete products, which can readily be adopted by the construction industry.
Furthermore, the properties of these products will be developed at multiple levels to improve their electrical and magnetic functionality through the inclusion of iron-rich materials, and this functionality may be exploited throughout the materials lifetime – manufacturing, service life and end-of-life – with a view to the development of intelligent infrastructure.
Dr Theodore Hanein, UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at Sheffield, commented, “It is an exciting time at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. We are leading the revolution of alternative raw materials for UK cement manufacturing. Outcomes of FeRICH will have universal outreach and impact, as the knowledge generated will develop new processes and materials that can be exploited across our planet and beyond.”
The creation of a symbiosis between the steel industry and the cement industry, which will come out of the FeRICH project, will bring down the overall environmental impact of both. It will drive the steel industry towards zero-waste and diminish the excavation and use of natural resources in cement production, thereby improving our resource efficiency through material circularisation.
FeRICH is supported by key players from both the steel and cement sectors as well as academia. Project partners include: Hanson (HeidelbergCement Group), British Steel (Jingye Steel (UK) Holdings Ltd), VITO (Flemish Institute of Technology) and RWTH Aachen University (Institute of Building Materials Research). The research team includes Dr Theodore Hanein (PI), Professor John Provis, Professor Nicola Morley, Dr Hajime Kinoshita, Dr Claire Utton and Dr Sam Ghazizadeh, all based at the University of Sheffield.

Published under Cement News