Limestone, CO2 and 3-D printing. Those are the ingredients that researchers at the University of California are using and reusing to create concrete cement that could be more environmentally friendly than current cement. The team says that this is a brand new method of creating building material and has the chance to minimize the amount of CO2 emissions in the world today.The team's findings were published in the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research journal. The title of the work is Direct Carbonation of Ca(OH)2  Using Liquid and Supercritical CO2: Implications for Carbon-Neutral Cementation

According to cement production - as it has been done in the past - emits 5% of the world's C0emissions. Currently, cement is made by heating limestone at 750 degrees centigrade which produces C02.  

The new method involves taking the C02 that is released during the calcination of the concrete ingredients and then recombining it with calcium hydroxide, which in turns recreates limestone. They have called their new creation CO2NCRETE , printing out cones of the cement with a 3-D printer. 

Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental engineering at UCLA, Gaurav Sant, said, "While cement production results in CO2,  if we can utilize it to making a building material which would be a new kind of cement, that's an opportunity."

Sant further said that the challenge they are expecting to have is not just developing a building material, but also finding a process solution for an integrated technology that would take CO2 to a finished product.

They are calling the process: Carbon Upcycling. 

J.R. DeShazo is a professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and part of an innovation team as well. He is throwing his weight behind the project and was quoted saying, "I decided to get involved in this project because it could be a game-changer for climate policy." 


For more information and to see how all of it is done, check this out: