In the coming decades, the building materials industry will face the enormous challenge of significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the Paris climate targets. The development and use of sustainable binders to reduce CO2 will play a decisive role.
Climate-friendly cement substitutes offer great potential
Although cement only accounts for between 7 and 20 percent by mass of concrete as a building material, it is responsible for more than 90 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with concrete production. However, as one of the world's largest CO2 emitters (approx. 7 to 8 percent), the cement industry is also obliged to achieve CO2 neutral production by 2050. Carbon capture technologies and the development of new climate-friendly cement substitutes offer great potential for use in sustainable binders.
We conduct research into sustainable cement substitutes and concrete additives
Cement substitutes and concrete additives, such as fly ash from pulverized coal combustion or granulated blast furnace slag from pig iron production, are already established in Germany. In the future, however, these will no longer be available in sufficient quantities. Potential alternatives, such as calcined clays, are therefore the focus of our scientists' research work. Our experts in the Sustainable Binders Working Group concentrate on the following topics:
- Characterization and evaluation of clay resources with regard to their suitability as cement substitutes
- Utilization of resource-efficient secondary raw materials containing clay to produce calcined clays
- Further development of clay activation processes
- Optimization of clinker-reduced cements
- Development of alkali-activated binders based on calcined clays
- Hydration and hardening process of binders with a low CO2 content