Cement, which is the main component of concrete, is responsible for approximately 7% of global CO2 emissions.
The goal of the new Matériaux cimentaires éco-efficaces (MC²E) laboratory, a collaboration between the CNRS, l’ENS Paris Saclay et Ecocem, is to develop alternative low-carbon-impact cements.
Researchers at the MC²E have managed to reduce the amount of cement in concrete by a factor of five.
They have also developed a new (patented) cement based on waste residues from the steel industry that has an 80% smaller carbon impact than conventional cement. The new cement is already on the market.
It might thus be possible to achieve carbon neutrality quite quickly in this area without having to resort to so-called disruptive techniques.
In order to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by the manufacture of construction materials, opting for biosourced materials (derived from animal or plant biomass) seems to be a good alternative.
Unlike conventional materials, biobased materials not only avoid depleting soil carbon but also store atmospheric CO2 for decades.
Biobased materials offer many opportunities, both in terms of overall comfort and carbon footprint, provided that the biomass extracted is offset by the production.
However, biobased materials currently account for only 12% of materials used in the building industry: the arrival of new regulations could change this.
Isabelle Dumé holds a PhD in physics. She collaborates with various scientific magazines and media, public and private institutions, and actors in higher education and research in France and worldwide.