Materials

CarbonCure: How Concrete Additives Can Improve Carbon Footprint

Most days a new article, news headline, or research paper is published about our carbon footprint, and the world seems to recognize that we need to find ways to save our environment. Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials providing strength and structure for projects. But it also contributes almost 7 percent of the world’s carbon emissions and is the largest contributor to embodied carbon in the built environment. This staggering statistic has propelled several players into the sustainable concrete space like Blue Planet and CarbonCure, which are leading the way to identify ways to improve the carbon impact of concrete while maintaining its beneficial attributes. At Co|Lab, we have partnered with Vulcan, who uses CarbonCure regularly, to mock-up a sample of the admixture product. As an admixture to concrete, it injects CO2 into the ready mix, which mineralizes in a chemical reaction to calcium carbonate, eliminating CO2.  

We learned from the mock-up that the product cures in standard time (5-7 days) yet minimizes the concrete’s embodied carbon. It can also be paired with other admixtures, as there are many use cases admixtures address – such as accelerated cure time or increased compressive strength, etc. Moving forward, we will monitor the comparative strength using Giatec and will share our findings in a future insight.

 

CarbonCure

Vulcan’s CarbonCure sample tested at Co|Lab.