A Scientific American article is reporting on what sounds like a revolutionary technique for partially solving the greenhouse gas problem: using it to produce cement. A new company called Calera claims that, by passing carbon dioxide through seawater, it can produce cement. For example, the waste gas from power plants, now released into the atmosphere, could be re-directed and 90 percent of it used for the cement.
“While Calera’s process of making calcium carbonate cement wouldn’t eliminate all CO2 emissions, it would reverse that equation. “For every ton of cement we make, we are sequestering half a ton of CO2,” says crystallographer Brent Constantz, founder of Calera. “We probably have the best carbon capture and storage technique there is by a long shot.”
Carbon capture and storage has been identified by experts ranging from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the leaders of the world’s eight richest nations (G8) as crucial to the fight against climate change. The idea is to capture the CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced when burning fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, and then permanently store it, such as in deep-sea basalt formations.”
Other companies are working on the problem, eg, Carbon Sciences in California and Carbon Sense Solutions in Nova Scotia.
New cements would have to be industry-approved. And the construction industry is known to be conservative; change is implemented slowly.