Green cement becomes a reality

Published:  28 January, 2011

LONDON: A carbon-neutral cement could be marketed soon. Novacem, a commercial venture set up by Imperial College with funding from Laing O'Rourke has developed carbon-neutral cement based on magnesium oxide.

It will give the concrete industry a scalable alternative to current carbon intensive production. For every tonne of Portland cement replaced by Novacem cement, around one tonne of CO2 is captured and stored indefinitely.

Laing O'Rourke's investment into Novacem is part of a wider £1.6m fund-raising, and is the contractor's second big investment in Novacem, which plans to produce a commercially available cement that absorbs carbon.

Ray O'Rourke, Laing O'Rourke's chairman, said: "Clients are seeking increasingly more viable and sustainable construction solutions, and the industry can no longer drag its heels on this issue.

"Good progress has been made over the last 10 years, but much more needs to be done.

"Although we recognise there is a limit to what is possible to improve the sustainability of conventional Portland cement, we are excited by the radical innovation being developed through our partnership with Novacem," he said.

Novacem's cement binder uses a different chemistry and a new lower temperature manufacturing process, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The resulting cement hardens by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide effectively locking the greenhouse gas into construction materials.

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight

Recruitment

Builders Merchants Vacancies – UK Wide

We work closely with the National and Large Independent Builders Merchants as well as Manufacturers & Distributors. We have vacancies all over the UK for those who work within the Building Supplies sector.

Guest Blog by Simon Damp

Is DIY a lost art?

As time goes by, the art of do-it-yourself when it comes to activities around the home and garden is fast becoming more and more of a lost art.