Beneficial Use of Carbon Dioxide in Precast Concrete Production


Images of full size concrete blocks (left)<br/>and 1 foot x 2 feet concrete panels in a<br/>test chamber (right) developed using<br/>the carbonation systems.
Images of full size concrete blocks (left)
and 1 foot x 2 feet concrete panels in a
test chamber (right) developed using
the carbonation systems.
McGill University - The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning
Website:  McGill University - The Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning
Award Number:  FE0004285
Project Duration:  10/01/2010 – 03/31/2014
Total Award Value:  $475,424
DOE Share:  $370,424
Performer Share:  $105,000
Technology Area:  Carbon Use and Reuse
Key Technology:  Mineralization/Cements
Location:  Montreal QC, Canada

Project Description

Researchers at McGill University worked to develop a CO2 curing process for the precast concrete industry that can utilize CO2 in place of steam as a reactant to accelerate strength gain, reduce energy consumption, and improve the durability of precast concrete products. Carbon dioxide curing of concrete is considered a CO2 storage process. As gaseous CO2 is converted to thermodynamically stable calcium carbonate, the CO2 becomes embedded in calcium silicate hydrate. Concrete masonry blocks and fiber-cement panels are ideal candidate building products for carbon storage, as they are mass-produced and conventionally cured with steam. In order to make the process economically feasible, self-concentrating absorption technology was studied to produce low cost CO2 for concrete curing. The compact design of the CO2 chamber and low cost carbon capture technology should result in a net process cost of less than $10 per ton of CO2 stored. The proposed research examined the possibility of achieving a cost-effective, high-performance concrete manufacturing process through a prototype production using specially designed chambers, called CO2 claves, to replace steam kilns and implement forced-diffusion technology to maximize carbon uptake at minimal process costs.

Project Benefits

This project focused on the development of a precast concrete curing process that uses CO2 as a reactant. Commercial uses for this process will store CO2 with a net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, this project determined the ability of CO2 to accelerate strength gain, improve durability, and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by designing and testing carbonated concrete blocks and fiber-cement panels and performing short-term and long-term evaluation of carbonated products.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Darin Damiani:
Technology Manager 
Traci Rodosta:
Principal Investigator 
Yixin Shao:

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