Reducing Carbon Foot-Print in Concrete Application

Hydraulic cement concrete (HCC) is the most widely used construction material worldwide. The production of portland cement, which is the main binder of HCC, is a large contributor of carbon emission. However, HCC, in general, has a low energy and carbon footprint compared to most other construction materials and has the potential of becoming even more sustainable. It is also possible to improve the properties of the concrete while making them more sustainable. Concretes with low paste contents have less shrinkage and temperature rise reducing the cracking potential and lead to improved durability. There are several effective measures, which can be applied to achieve emissions reduction in concrete materials, thus resulting in environmental benefits. In this research study, measures for CO2 emissions reduction will be analyzed for cement and concrete to identify their environmental effectiveness. It will include the past and present efforts of the Virginia Department of Transportation that result in carbon reduction and the future possibilities for further reduction without compromising the quality of concretes.