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Properties and applications of sustainable reactive magnesia cements

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The production of Portland cement (PC) is one of the most energy intense process which is responsible for up to 10% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, PC suffers from a number of durability problems. Hence there is an on-going search to identify more sustainable cements with significantly reduced environmental impactwhile complying with stringent performance requirements.

Magnesia cements are a viable response to the need addressed above. They are blends of magnesia (MgO), pozzolan (can be waste/by-product based) and PC. The work has shown that certain formulations gained significant strength by absorbing carbon dioxide outperforming PC. Not only can they be potentially carbon neutral, but they were also shown to be markedly more resistant to aggressive chemical attack than PC. Commercial trials were conducted and full-scale construction products successfully manufactured using magnesia cements with a range of natural as well as secondary aggregates.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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