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Can Portland cement be replaced by low-carbon alternative materials? A study on the thermal properties and carbon emissions of innovative cements

Maddalena, Riccardo, Roberts, Jennifer J. and Hamilton, Andrea 2018. Can Portland cement be replaced by low-carbon alternative materials? A study on the thermal properties and carbon emissions of innovative cements. Journal of Cleaner Production 186 , pp. 933-942. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.02.138

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Abstract

One approach to decarbonising the cement and construction industry is to replace Portland cement systems with lower carbon alternatives that have suitable properties. We show that seven cementitious binders comprised of metakaolin, silica fume and nano-silica have improved thermal performance compared with Portland cement and we calculate the full CO2 emissions associated with manufacture and transport of each binder for the first time. Due to their high porosity, the thermal conductivity of these novel cements is 58–90% lower than Portland cement, and we show that a thin layer (20 mm), up to 80% thinner than standard insulating materials, is enough to bring energy emissions in domestic construction into line with the UK 2013 Building Regulations. Carbon emissions in domestic construction can be reduced by c. 20–50% and these cementitious binders are able to be recycled, unlike traditional insulation materials.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the CC-BY Attribution 4.0 International license.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0959-6526
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 13 February 2018
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 16:30
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/111915

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