(591c) Geopolymer Technology and the Search for a Low-CO2 Alternative to Concrete
AIChE Annual Meeting
2007 Annual Meeting
Green Chemistry and Engineering for Sustainability
Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 1:20pm to 1:45pm
One of the largest single-industry contributions to worldwide anthropogenic CO2 emissions is due to the manufacture of Portland cement, which releases around 0.8 tonne CO2 per tonne of cement production. Various means of reducing this impact have been proposed, in particular the use of high-volume supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs ? usually coal fly ash or blast furnace slag). However, the replacement of up to 40% of the Portland cement content of concrete with ash or slag tends to have deleterious effects on the properties of the material, with slow strength development being a common drawback. Geopolymer concrete, synthesized at 100% SCM content by the use of an alkaline activator solution, provides a very attractive alternative to Portland cement concrete due to its comparable physical and mechanical properties and rapid, controllable strength development. Furthermore, the CO2 emissions due to geopolymer synthesis are approximately 80-90% lower than traditional Portland cements. Recent developments in the commercial-scale production and utilization of geopolymer concrete as a means of enhancing the sustainability of the Australian construction industry will be presented, as well as significant technological advances in this field.
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