Cement production is one of the most environmentally dirty tasks in the modern world of construction – and given the fact that cement continues to lead as the most common and relevant building material, it becomes obvious that the search for ways to minimize its environmental threat is one of the most priority works of scientists ecologists. So the team of material engineering specialists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented their new project, which concerns the possibility of doing this – however, it is aimed not so much at the cement itself as at the material, but at a certain stage of its production.
Cement production in general is a process of collecting, crumbling and calcining limestone, which is combined with sand and clay – moreover, the calcination itself is carried out by burning coal in a large proportion. It is this stage that contributes to the release of a huge amount of greenhouse gas into the Earth’s atmosphere, which is reflected in those very 8% of the total mass of greenhouse gas produced on Earth.
Scientists from MIT noted that they found a way to significantly reduce the environmental damage from cement production at this stage, thanks to a new technology for its roasting. The technology itself consists in using a special electrolytic device that literally separates the electricity passing through itself, distributing it across two electrodes – one of which produces air bubbles from the water, and the second separates the water molecules to quickly cool the cement. As a result of preliminary tests, scientists from Massachusetts actually managed to make the overall cement firing process much safer.
However, it is worth noting that at this stage experiments are still being conducted to accelerate and increase the efficiency of this process, since it has well-known technical and chemical limitations. However, given the more than successful promotion and development, it can be assumed that very soon such a new cement base will be adopted by construction companies in the world, to a large extent also because it promises significantly lower production costs.