Have you ever come across the term “carbon footprint” and wondered what it’s all about? As part of our concrete services update, we delve deeper into the issue of the carbon footprint and it’s connection to concrete.
Las Gaviotas, a research facility located in Colombia, gives a simple definition of “carbon footprint”. The term refers to the quantity of carbon emitted by an individual in one year. Carbon or CO2 is produced by a lot of sources and is the primary gas responsible for climate change.
Last year many scientists concluded that at least 5% of humanity’s carbon footprint is being emitted by the concrete industry. This is both from energy use and byproduct in the production of cement, one of the major components of concrete. The materials in cement are combined with CO2 and this forms calcite after a long period of time. Calcite is the factor responsible for the re-absorption that scientists have been seeing, where CO2 is reabsorbed in small quantities by concrete.
The Journal of Environmental Engineering in June,2009 mentions that the re-absorption of carbon by concrete extends to other products apart from calcite. This indicates that the total carbon absorbed and removed from the atmosphere decreases the carbon footprint of concrete.
Research by environmental engineer, Liv Haselback, also gives support to this finding. “Even though these chemical species may equate to only five percent of the CO2 byproduct from cement production, when summed globally they become significant,” said Haselbach. “Concrete is the most-used building material in the world.”
Such information is good news to concrete services firms since there is so much emphasis on “green living” these days. It is a removal of the stigma that concrete buildings add up to the heat and smog that urban cities are known for.
Concrete services updates will be featured from time to time to inform environmentally conscious individuals that research and work towards a more environmetal-friendly material is being done.
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