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Development and mass production of net zero carbon embedded concrete using steel slag waste

The objective of the £7.6m Mevocrete project, by Tees Valley in the UK-based partners Materials Evolution and the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre (NZIIC – a partnership between Teesside University and TWI), is to develop and mass produce a concrete that has net zero carbon embedded in it.

The global concrete market is worth around £500 billion annually, but is one of the world’s single biggest polluters, accounting for up to 8% of greenhouse gases according to research by the think tank Chatham House.  With a three-year duration, Mevocrete will see the partners develop Material Evolution's low carbon, geo-polymer cement technology for production at scale, and employ local steel slag waste from the Tees Valley region’s historic steel production, that can sequester carbon.  This will further boost the performance of Material Evolution’s low carbon cement, which currently emits up to 85% less embodied CO2 than traditional Portland Cement.

Traditional cement relies on energy-intensive calcination to activate and bind materials, producing CO2 as a by-product, whereas Material Evolution’s patented technology avoids such emissions, instead activating waste materials through a solid state, chemical reaction using ‘ultra-low energy alkali-fusion’ that doesn't require heat or release CO2.  The technology has the ability to sequester carbon in the cement, either during the alkali fusion or curing stages, or in use.  Researchers from the university’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies will analyse steel slag and its chemical composition, and measure how efficient it is at sequestering carbon.

An examination of the entire supply chain, from feedstock to end user, and creation of an independently tested and verified net zero emissions product, by the project end in October 2025, are also in scope.

Partners: Material Evolution and NZIIC.

Mevocrete has secured funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Challenge for industrially scaled, demonstrator projects.  The NZIIC is part of Tees Valley Combined Authority’s regional innovation strategy.

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