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World’s first net zero cement production trial starts

Posted: Thursday, February 9th, 2023

Production trials are starting in the search for construction’s holy grail – the world’s first commercially available zero-emissions cement, the Construction Enquirer has reported.

The process developed at Cambridge University combines scrap steel recycling with cement clinker production using recycled concrete as a flux rather than limestone.

Over the planned two-year trial period the Cement 2 Zero project will investigate both the technical and commercial aspects of upscaling Cambridge Electric Cement production to produce 20 tonnes of the world’s first zero emissions cement.

This will then be used in a construction project.

The project team involves academics from University of Cambridge, and experts at Tarmac, Atkins, Balfour Beatty and the Materials Processing Institute where the production and testing is taking place.

The innovative project has secured £6.5m of Government funding as part of the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge.

Dr Philippa Horton, University of Cambridge, who created the project consortium, said: “If Cambridge Electric Cement lives up to the promise it has shown in early laboratory trials, when combined with other innovative technologies, it could be a pivotal point in the journey to a zero-emissions society.

“The Cement 2 Zero project is an invaluable opportunity to collaborate across the entire construction supply chain, to expand CEC from the laboratory to its first commercial application.

“This major break-through is a result of Dr Cyrille Dunant and his research team at the University of Cambridge. They invented a new process which brings together two cement and steel industries by combining the production processes, transforming a by-product of steel recycling into a valuable material, in one zero emission process.”

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