CO2NCRETE is a complete new kind of material that has great ability to replace the universally present concrete around us, i.e. the one instilled in our buildings, bridges, and roads. What makes it so unique? It is made from one of the most harmful greenhouse gases and helps in reduction of emissions from concrete production. The gas is called as Carbon Dioxide and the process is about its conversion into a sustainable resource. CO2NCRETE is made with the help of 3D printers that are fed with carbon trapped from smokestack flue gas under a process named “upcycling”.
On our planet, plants are one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide. There present method to deal with the CO2 they generate is by capturing it and storing it in some other form. Upcycling process moves a step ahead of it and finds a better usage of that carbon. According to Gaurav Sant, an associate professor of environmental and civil engineering working at UCLA, “We can demonstrate a process where we take lime and combine it with carbon dioxide to produce a cement-like material. The big challenge we foresee with this is we’re not just trying to develop a building material. We’re trying to develop a process solution, an integrated technology which goes right from CO2 to a finished product.”
The usage of upcycling process in creation of CO2NCRETE is for now restricted to labs only. They employ 3D printers for this purpose that shapes the materials into small cones. Bringing it to a larger scale will take some time. The team working on this project also believes that stakeholders will take some time to welcome a product like this and there will be a large gap till whole construction industry begins dealing with this. There are several other challenges in the way like the technology and its impact on ecology.
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