Added: 04.04.2011 12:37
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Environment Friendly Concrete

Yet another option to use ash waste as a raw material. Oil shale ash can be used as replacement of cement in classical concrete. This way the carbon dioxide emissions, energy demand and waste are reduced.

Concrete is a very popular material for building and construction. The demands for strength of the material lead the concrete composition more cement based. Cement is a component forcing recognized environmental stress through the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during the production as well as the large energy demand. It has been estimated that 7% of the world’s carbon dioxide is connected with the cement production.

EcoCrete aims to improve the environmental performance of current concrete by replacing cement component with recycled industrial waste or recycled aggregates. Such recycled industrial waste can be oil shale ash.

References:

Reid, D. Ardoran Ltd. 2009. Reducing the Environmental Impact of Concrete by Knowledge-based Design and Utilization of Industrial Waste Material (ECOCRETE). Available at: http://ieea.erba.hu/eco/page/Page.jsp?op=project_detail&prid=40

Your idea/solution in one sentence: Lowering the environmental impact of concrete products.

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Solution(s) for this content
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Turning waste material into raw material is one of the greatest booms in waste management and waste reduction. New products produced by waste utilization can be used for example as construction material.
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Waste and energy consumption reduction, conservation of natural resources and material recycling are the one of the main challenges for future sustainable development.

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Comments

(06 Apr 2011)
Hi Magda,

I stumbled up on this opinion by an estonian climatologist in a weekly nature show. He said that climate change has been commercialized by media and governments as business.

They (for ex. EU commission) exclude all other factors that make up our climate only focus on CO2 emissions. The chain goes like this: climate is made by atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, where geological and cosmic inputs have the most effect.

But in EU they exclude all other spheres and focus only on atmosphere. And from atmosphere they eliminate all gases except CO2. And in case of CO2 they exclude all other origins than human produced. And from that they create the picture that only us humans develop the climate.

But our possibilities to affect the climate are small. We as humans focus on extreme weather and say that climate is changing while weather can be forecast approx 5 days ahead.
(06 Apr 2011)
Climate estimates can be done looking at 30 year records and chances to getting it right are small.

And also if actually climate is getting colder (again) then what we will do? Increase our carbon emissions?

What would we have done if we had lived in the time when ice age ended and northern-Europe was freed from the ice, the sea levels raised and so on? Would we have stopped all industries (imagine it would of been same level technological development) because of CO2 emissions???

What will we do if new ice age comes? Will we move to Africa? And Africa shuts down borders and says we dont want immigrants? What will we do then? Invade Africa for the right to live? Increase carbon emissions?

People should respect nature more to try to understand its processes. How can you say to China and India that you can not use fossil fuels when we got rich on these?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against decreasing emissions - i like clean air. But we should serve things with right names.
I have had the same problem following the talks on the greeenhouse gasses and climate change problematic. It seems human race just concentrates to much on themselves. I do not like things where you need to suppose or guess to be able to conclude results. That is not sience. That is why I concentrate more on waste and wastewater management...that is stuff that is understandable. :)
I totaly agree with you...and I am definite I have not said that all the fuzz should be about carbon dioxide emissions and decreasing them to absolute minimum. Just yesterday in Tulevaisuus verstas concentrated on the energy future in Pirkanmaa region at TAMK we were discussing exactly the same. I believe that this article is more about utilizing waste material for building purposes...Which I do value lot more since is lot more concrete than all the CO2 matter.
(06 Apr 2011)
And I also like your post, using up waste materials in new ways can make them building materials of tomorrow. Energy efficiency on the other hand can be copied from the nature, like clam-shells are built by using proteins to attract minerals from the water and no other heat/energy input is needed - yet the material has great building characteristics and properties.

I'll stop now :)
And please do continue, I look forward to read more. Finally somebody is starting some opinion discussion.
I have read about the clam-shell material somewhere. Do you know about some practical use?

By the way, the EcoCrete material I was writing about is a project placed to Estonia.
(06 Apr 2011)
I got the clam shell information from TED talk about how to mimic nature in different things to improve our technologies. I don't recall any hands on use for it but hopefully there will be some in the future.

Ecocrete sounds nice and to hear that our small country gets involved is even nicer.

I have had the idea of Infocrete - a building material that could store digital information releasing us from the need of vast server parks and hardrives. Looking to the future its obvious that the amount of information wont be mesaured in megabytes or gigabytes or terabytes. The information and network will be hosted all around us in unmeasurable amounts.

Think if you could unite the clam shell and info-crete idea to use proteins from the nature to build ceramic (or other) material infostorage "spaces" not devices. [this turned into idea crashing now :D]
Your info-crete is definitelly out of the box! Would it then be so that buildings would actually "communicate" and exchange information?
I have an idea or more a vision of a breathing concrete. That would be a building material with adjustable permeability of air. For example with small applied voltage through a reostat it would be possible to control how much air is exchanged with the outer environment. This would support also the structure insulation properties. In the summer time the aeration of the inner space would be more constant and perhaps reduce the energy demand or overall need for airconditioning.