Embodied Carbon

For every ton of cement produced, approximately one ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. The industry and manufacturing sector is responsible for 21% of all CO2 emissions worldwide — the concrete industry is the main contributor.

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According to the Chancery Lane Project, Embodied Carbon is the total amount of Greenhouse Gases that are emitted through the production and delivery of building materials. This includes those emissions caused by extraction, manufacture, transportation, and assembly, as well as emissions caused by deconstruction at the end of the lifecycle.

According to Project Drawdown, industry and manufacturing are responsible for 21% of all CO2 emissions. When we compare numbers with Brimstone’s research, we can see that 7.5% of all carbon emissions come from a product called Ordinary Portland Cement.

To create cement — the binder used to make concrete —Limestone and Clay are broken down and heated in a kiln at ~2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. This process is powered by burning coal and other fossil fuels. This releases the embodied carbon from Limestone, leaving behind Clinker. Clinker and Gypsum are then combined together to create Portland Cement.

Second to water, Concrete is the most utilized substance on earth. For every ton of cement produced, approximately one ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere.

As we can see, the concrete industry is the driving force that is racking up emissions in the industry sector. Like all things ClimateTech, great problems often coincide with innovative solutions. Companies like Carbon Cure, Brimstone, Ecocem, and Solidia are creating technologies that address the carbon lifecycle of the concrete industry at large.

Check out this video from Pique Action:

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