Concrete is the most produced material in the world and it will be used as a building material in the future. This is due to the rapidly growing urbanization trend, the ever-expanding demand for infrastructure and housing and the corresponding demand for the enormous quantities of materials required to service these trends. Scientists and industry have to work with materials from the earth’s crust that are available in sufficient quantities. This inevitably leads to the materials used so far in concrete and allows little variation. In addition, compared to other building materials, concrete is a material that requires comparatively little gray energy for its production. But there is an urgent need to increase sustainability, as concrete production contributes up to 8% to man-made CO2 emissions and we need to find solutions to use the resources efficiently. The construction industry therefore has a great responsibility to reduce these emissions. ceEntek contributes to this reduction through a multi-stage strategy towards a net zero UHPC2.0TM:

UHPC approach

A first step towards improving sustainability is given by the UHPC approach. By optimizing the packing density as well as the chemical composition of UHPC, mechanical properties are increased and chemical transport mechanisms are reduced. Therefore, the material consumption can be reduced at the same performance level compared to normal concrete, saving valuable resources. Due to the increased structural density of UHPC, the life cycle of UHPC is also significantly longer. This also leads to a saving of resources, due to longer service life, and fewer repairs. UHPC2.0TM goes one step further in this respect, as the use of cePasteTM chemically optimizes the hydration products, further improving their performance and durability, and further increasing the structural density. This also enables more efficient use of polymer or steel fibers, as they are better bonded to the matrix. Thus, the percentage of steel fibers in UHPC2.0TM can be reduced compared to conventional UHPC, reducing the carbon footprint further.

Reduced Transportation

One of ceEntek’s fundamental philosophies is to minimize transport distances. Therefore, only cePasteTM is manufactured in Singapore as the core of our technology. The percentage of cePasteTM in the total amount of UHPC2.0TM is <1%. Our UHPC2.0TM is made locally, as we adapt to the raw materials available. This concept enables us to decrease CO2 emissions associated with extended materials transportation.

Reduction of Cement

In a next step, the carbon footprint of UHPC2.0TM is further reduced by using secondary raw materials and lowering the proportion of cement in our systems. By adjusting the cePasteTM, it is ensured that the strength and microstructure development remains at levels typical for normal UHPC. In particular, the rapid strength development of UHPC with low cement content must not be impacted, as otherwise construction sites would cause additional emissions (for example, traffic jams) due to extensive shutdowns of the construction phase.

Netzero Approach

To achieve our final goal of a CO2 neutral UHPC2.0TM, carbon reduction and capture techniques will be joined with the circular economy concept. ceEntek aims to use Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) and Carbon Capture & Utilization (CCU) technology in combination with recyclable materials. The circular economy concept is a mindset – no longer considering building material life cyle in a linear fashion, but rather in circular terms. To achieve this, upcycling processes are under development in order to move away from the cradle-to-grave approach that has been common in the industry to date to a cradle-to-cradle approach. This strategy, which ceEntek is striving for, is supported by Prof. Dr. Seeram and presented in detail in his presentation