Could This Be the Answer to Carbon Emissions From Power Plants?

Concrete is everywhere; it is used for our roads, bridges, and buildings, to name just a few. But now a team of researchers may have just come up with a much better product.

Researchers from UCLA have been working on a unique solution to help reduce greenhouse gases from power plants around the world.

Their solution is to create a closed-loop process; this would capture carbon from the power plant smokestacks. Then use what they have captured to create a new building material they call “CO2NCRETE,” which could be fabricated using 3D printers.

J.R. DeShazo, professor of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, said in a statement:

While capturing carbon emissions from power plants is nothing new, the researchers, led by Gaurav Sant, an associate professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering, have come up with what to do with it once it is captured.

DeShazo explains:

According to UCLA the researchers are motivated in reducing greenhouse gas in the U.S., but DeShazo also mentions the possibilities of also reducing emissions in China and India. China is currently the largest greenhouse gas producer in the world, with India to become number two — if it keeps with its current trend.

However, the new construction material has only been produced in the lab, using 3-D printers to shape it into tiny cones. But, DeShazo recognizes there is still a lot of planning to go, saying:

The process involves using lime and combining it with the carbon dioxide, producing a “cement-like material.” Sant said:

This could be the answer to “how can we use carbon emissions from power plants?” The idea of using this technology has its merits, turning a problem into a beneficial product.

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