Use of Supplementary Cementitious Materials in High Performance, CO2 Sequestering Construction Material

EPA Contract Number: EPD13022
Title: Use of Supplementary Cementitious Materials in High Performance, CO2 Sequestering Construction Material
Investigators: Atakan, Vahit
Small Business: Solidia Technologies
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: May 13, 2013 through November 14, 2013
Project Amount: $80,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2013) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Green Buildings


Problem Statement:  The worldwide manufacture and use of Portland cement for use in concrete accounts for roughly 5 percent of global CO2 emissions. A common practice in the production of Portland cement concrete (PCC) to reduce CO2 emissions levels is the partial substitution of cement with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) from recycled industrial waste streams.  The incorporation of these materials can also improve the performance and ease of processing of concrete, and as such, SCMs are heavily used in the PCC industry. To further reduce CO2 emissions during the production of concrete, a low-energy CO2 sequestering alternative binding material can be used to replace Portland cement. However, to be easily accepted as an alternative to Portland cement in the construction industry, such a material should also allow the incorporation of SCMs.
Technology Description:  Solidia Technologies, Inc. (Solidia) proposes to demonstrate the ability to incorporate SCMs into concrete-like materials manufactured via a proprietary, low-energy mineral carbonation process utilizing Solidia Cement™.  This novel binding material can be readily mined in natural form or synthesized at a significantly lower temperature than Portland cement and can be used to make concrete-like products with properties similar or superior to PCC. However, as Solidia Cement™ has very different chemistry and strengthening mechanisms than Portland cement, it may not experience the same extent of property improvements that SCMs impart to PCC. The overall goal of this project is to demonstrate that the incorporation of common SCMs in building materials made via mineral carbonation yields similar property improvement as in traditional cement based building materials. The effect of the substitution of SCMs in place of Solidia Cement in amounts typically used in PCC on properties such as workability, mechanical strength and durability will be investigated and compared to traditional concrete systems.
Anticipated Benefits:  Demonstrating the feasibility of incorporating SCMs into concrete-like products manufactured by mineral carbonation using Solidia Cement™ will heavily strengthen the case for the widespread industrial adoption of this novel construction material. The primary benefit of such a large-scale adoption would be a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions associated with the construction industryup to a 95 percent reduction using naturally mined Solidia Cement™, and up to 60 percent utilizing a synthetic version of the same material. 

Supplemental Keywords:

supplementary cementitious materials, industrial waste, CO2, green buildings, mineral carbonation, construction

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report