Since signing a joint development and commercial agreement in 2013, LarfargeHolcim has worked closely with Solidia Technologies to develop cement and concrete solutions employing mineral carbonation for the precast industry.
Solidia Cement™, a non-hydraulic binder, is produced using the same raw material as Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) in existing cement kilns. The key difference is that the Solidia binder is produced using less limestone and at lower kiln burning temperatures. This translates into reduced CO2 emissions during cement manufacturing (30% reduction). Solidia Concrete™ is made from of a mix of the non-hydraulic binder, Solidia Cement™, aggregates and sand. Water is used for shaping. The mixture is placed in a curing chamber filled with CO₂ to create a more durable product than traditional concrete. The curing process captures up to 300 kg of CO2 per ton of cement used. Combined, the production of Solidia Cement™ and Solidia Concrete™ reduce the carbon footprint of concrete up to 70%, compared to OPC products.
The advantages to precasters are multiple:
Full strength in concrete parts achieved within 24 hours (compared to 28 days for OPC-based concrete) thus allowing just-in-time manufacturing and a significant reduction in inventory cost.
Concrete waste from forming process is almost eliminated and equipment cleanup time is significantly reduced because the concrete does not harden until it is exposed to CO2.
The final precast products present better aesthetics than PC-based concretes (no efflorescence, better pigmentation, and better color grading).