An Alternative Concrete Chemistry with Significantly Enhanced Durability, Sustainability, Economy, Safety and StrengthEPA Contract Number: EPD17021
Title: An Alternative Concrete Chemistry with Significantly Enhanced Durability, Sustainability, Economy, Safety and Strength
Investigators: Balachandra, Anagi
Small Business: Metna Co.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: March 1, 2017 through February 28, 2019 (Extended to September 30, 2019)
Project Amount: $300,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2016) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Building Materials
Manufacturing of Portland cement, the primary binder in concrete, accounts for ~7% of global CO2 emissions, 4% of energy use, and exhaustion of natural resources. Premature aging of concrete in infrastructure systems is another major concern. A robust binder chemistry has been developed to overcome these drawbacks. The original approach to production of this binder, however, is not compatible with concrete construction practices, and imposes initial cost burdens. Novel manufacturing techniques are under development for cost-effective, energy-efficient and high-throughput processing of predominantly waste raw materials into hydraulic cements which complement the performance, sustainability, safety and life-cycle benefits of geopolymer with the initial cost and constructability advantages of Portland cement. The Phase I project verified the feasibility of the technology, and received positive feedbacks and support from stakeholders. This allowed for raising funds to match the requested Phase II & Option support towards further development, scale-up and market transition of the technology. Construction markets emphasizing sustainability and durability (including sewer and transportation infrastructure) are the focus of market entry efforts. The safety and high recycled content of the new hydraulic cement, its significantly reduced carbon footprint, and applications towards more effective stabilization/solidification of hazardous wastes are some environmental benefits of the technology.