Advancing progress in the materials science of low carbon concrete. CEVO, concrete evolution

Advancing progress in the materials science of low carbon concrete. CEVO, concrete evolution

Low carbon concrete is a type of concrete that uses alternative materials or processes to reduce its carbon footprint.

At Tarmac, when targeting carbon reductions, we are optimizing all areas of manufacture, material selection, delivery, installation and reuse to help achieve 2050 targets as well as the more immediate commitment to reduce absolute CO2 emissions across the business by 30% by 2030.

Today we achieve low carbon concrete materials by using GGBS, Fly Ash, Fillers, Portland Limestone cements and Alkali Activated solutions.

Tomorrow is an evolution.

The Net Zero Routemap includes CEVO digital (integrated sensors delivering data optimized concrete performance) electric vehicle delivery, calcined clays and carbon capture.

New cement standards and Limestone fillers

The update to the BS8500 British concrete standard allowing PLC cements to be used in combination with GGBS and fly ash has been a major focus in our concrete solutions evolution. Essentially, PLC cement allows up to 20% of the cementitious elements to be limestone filler, which replaces clinker, lowering the carbon emissions from cement.

Having run full-scale demonstration projects with key customers, Tarmac has actively planned our full roll out across our national manufacturing capability. This programme has starting across our cement manufacture and will be complete late ‘24, early ‘25.

Alkali Activated solutions

Tarmac has developed an alkali-activated material system (AACM) partnering with industry leader Wagners. This product has also been used in full scale demonstrations across the UK in the past two years, including Hexham Flood Defense with BAM and the Environment Agency and National Highways on the M42. This material solutions delivers the highest carbon reductions available today, however it is not currently suitable for all applications.

As concrete engineering progresses the next step for AACMs will be for appropriate standards to be developed to allow wider use of this product.

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