Green cement a step closer to being a game-changer for construction emissions

phys.org | 11/1/2018 | Staff
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Concrete is the most widely used man-made material, commonly used in buildings, roads, bridges and industrial plants. But producing the Portland cement needed to make concrete accounts for 5-8% of all global greenhouse emissions. There is a more environmentally friendly cement known as MOC (magnesium oxychloride cement), but its poor water resistance has limited its use—until now. We have developed a water-resistant MOC, a "green" cement that could go a long way to cutting the construction industry's emissions and making it more sustainable.

Producing a tonne of conventional cement in Australia emits about 0.82 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). Because most of the CO2 is released as a result of the chemical reaction that produces cement, emissions aren't easily reduced. In contrast, MOC is a different form of cement that is carbon-neutral.

MOC

What exactly is MOC?

MOC is produced by mixing two main ingredients, magnesium oxide (MgO) powder and a concentrated solution of magnesium chloride (MgCl2). These are byproducts from magnesium mining.

Countries - China - Australia - Plenty - Resources

Many countries, including China and Australia, have plenty of magnesite resources, as well as seawater, from which both MgO and MgCl2 could be obtained.

Furthermore, MgO can absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. This makes MOC a truly green, carbon-neutral cement.

MOC - Material - Properties - Cement

MOC also has many superior material properties compared to conventional cement.

Compressive strength (capacity to resist compression) is the most important material property for cementitious construction materials such as cement. MOC has a much higher compressive strength than conventional cement and this impressive strength can be achieved very fast. The fast setting of MOC and early strength gain are very advantageous for construction.

MOC - Plenty - Merits - Water - Resistance

Although MOC has plenty of merits, it has until now had poor water resistance. Prolonged contact with water or moisture severely degrades its strength. This critical weakness has restricted its use to indoor applications such as floor tiles, decoration panels, sound and thermal...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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