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.
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.
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