Reducing Embodied Carbon by Optimizing Cementitious Systems for Alternative Cement using Thermodynamic Modeling

While the manufacture of OPC is responsible for approximately 4%-8% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, recent research resulted in changes to specifications to allow Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) as one method to reduce the carbon footprint (10%-12% CO2 reduction). Supplementary Cementitious Material (SCM) use results in additional 20%-40% CO2 reduction depending on rate of cement substitution. In the light of the fact that existing SCM sources may not be available in sufficient supply in the future, the discovery of new SCMs and PLC and the successful validation of their performance are needed. Research is crucial to examine the impact that this has on the corrosion and service life of the concrete. The project aims at developing novel SCMs and PLC concretes with high stoichiometric CO2 uptake potential. Toward this end the team will quantify the impact of binder composition on corrosion rates and measurements. Deliverables of this project include (1) Guidelines/specifications of the physical and chemical properties of the materials; (2) Simulations of the performance that can be expected with the SCMs and PLC; (3) Performance-based test results obtained from laboratory testing; and (4) Comparison to existing SCMs.