The Reality Behind Green Concrete


Cement and concrete are the most commonly used construction materials in the world. They have helped the construction industry many times in numerous projects. They both also have their differences and applications.

There have been rumors about these materials being polluters. The so-called pollution concerns have been debunked by scientific experts and industry experts too. It was also rumored to account for releasing 2.8 gigatons of Carbon Dioxide annually but no proof has been established to support this rumor.

Concrete is widely used. It is a robust construction material used in making bridges, buildings, monuments, homes, and other structures for many years, decades, and centuries alike. It has complemented stone. The effects of cement and concrete on climate change still require heavy substantiation.

Do the so-called environment-friendly options exist?

A variety of options exist in the category of cement and concrete. However, their degree of environment-friendly nature is dubious and doubtful. They claim to reduce carbon dioxide, but any evidence of carbon dioxide emissions from cement and concrete is yet to be proven.

Does Cement have more carbon emissions than concrete?

Concrete is made from water, cement, and aggregates comprising gravel, sand, and stone. It also contains chemical admixtures that help raise the strength, durability, resilience, and workability of concrete against numerous environmental factors and conditions.

Cement is made of gypsum, clay, limestone, and iron ore. It works as the main binder of concrete. Portland cement is the most common variant produced around the world. It is made by heating both clay and limestone at high temperatures. This produces clinker which is a hard and dense substance. It is eventually ground into a fine powder which becomes cement.

Where is the environmental problem with both cement and concrete?

The process used in creating cement and concrete requires a lot of energy. It burns coal, oil, and other fossil fuels required. This may be the reason why concrete is termed a carbon-emitting raw material and the label is wrong. It is the process that uses such fuels. It is also observed that the production of clean energy is also using fossil fuels.

Heating limestone produces quicklime. CO2 is its byproduct. Some say that this altogether produces almost a ton of CO2 per ton of clinker produced. Also, 0.46 tons are attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels. Naysayers may deny it. However, fossil fuels are a requirement for all industries.

Are the Environment-friendly solutions to concrete any good?

Despite the demand for such, companies around the world prefer the good old-fashioned concrete.

Mexico’s CEMEX had a partnership with solar fuel company Synhelion. They both produced the world’s first clinker made from solar energy. The energy was used to make clinker instead of using fossil fuels. Somehow, the efficiency of such clinker came under scrutiny.

Some project advisory professionals based in Dubai are not convinced. They have dealt with construction materials. According to them, reducing the content of cement in concrete in the first place may have a place for Fly Ash to work as a replacement. 

Fly Ash is a byproduct of residues generated by coal power plants, steel plants, and others that produce slag. But how good is fly ash? The product is untested and taking any unnecessary risks in this matter is not beneficial.

Understanding recycled aggregate concrete (RAC)?

Recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) is rumored to be another worthwhile alternative that can make a potentially new form of environment-friendly concrete. It recycles old concrete and debris which can be used as aggregate. What it is that it uses crushed and reclaimed concrete and asphalt to create RAC. It is known to save costs and energy if it is recycled on-site.

However, it does have its share of criticism. The RAC does not sound reliable or robust.

What does the LEED rating system say about it?

The LEED rating system gives good recognition to RAC. It has often recycled aggregate concrete as sustainable. Experts are not convinced. They say that concrete used in LEED building construction is different and does not use RAC fly ash or other alternatives. It uses reinforced traditional concrete which is a descendant of traditional concrete.

Criticism of Green Concrete

Construction claims professionals do not like the content and ingredients of green concrete. They are unproven and controversial. The results of testing facilities and testing methods have been biased. Unbiased testing reveals that Green concrete is a misnomer and the traditional one is hence a much better one.

Green concrete uses weak materials and its mix is also weak. The solar tech and means used for heating and making its materials is complicated and controversial. Experts are aware that such a kind of concrete is a misnomer. Vendors have been dishonest and even the industry prefers traditional materials. They are not giving in to the carbon emissions hoax.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *