New study could enhance the industry of carbon capture and storage into concrete and building materials, thus accelerating the efforts to reduce emissions of cement – one of the world’s most carbon-intensive sectors in our economy.
An engineering research team from the University of Toronto and the Canada Green Building Council want to dig into how concrete can be used to capture large amounts of carbon dioxide. The research is part of a $1.7 million federally funded study titled “Burying Carbon in Buildings: Advancing Carbon Capture and Utilization in Cementitious Building Materials.”
A leading professor is Daman Panesar from the University of Toronto’s civil and mineral engineering department, in the faculty of applied science and engineering.
“We are proud to partner with the University of Toronto on a project that has the potential to significantly reduce embodied carbon emissions from the cement industry. The results will contribute to the collective effort to decarbonize construction,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of Canada Green Building Council.
The researchers want to expand the work that has already been done on carbon capture approaches. They want to dive into the challenges related to scaling up these strategies and examine how new technology can transform built infrastructure into a carbon sink.
In other words, they want to take the carbon capture and utilization technology in the cement industry one step further.
The study aims to branch away from the naturally occurring carbonation of concrete and explore how accelerated carbonation can be utilized at different life stages of infrastructure.
It will assess carbonation processes like CO2 injection, elevated CO2 exposure, mineral carbonation using recycled or waste CO2, industry byproducts used to replace cement and subsequent CO2 curing, and it look into the potential for synthetic treated aggregates. Key findings from the research could serve to help shape new policies and regulations.