Activated calcium carbonate (a-CaCO3) is used partially to replace Portland cement. a-CaCO3 is comprised of nanoscale calcium carbonate, in amorphous and calcite forms, and its enhanced carbonate activity converts calcium carbonate from being an inert filler to a reactive component. Its reaction with the C–S–H phase alters the conventional hydrate mineralogy with spontaneous formation at ∼20 °C of scawtite, Ca7(Si6O18)CO3·2H2O and tilleyite, Ca5Si2O7(CO3)2. Compressive strength measurements show that up to 20 mass% cement replacement by calcium carbonate does not decrease 7- and 28-day compressive strengths compared to a Portland cement benchmark. a-CaCO3 also accelerates the hydration of silicate clinker minerals. Using activated calcium carbonate as a supplementary cementing material enables substantial reduction of CO2 emissions, firstly by capturing part of the CO2 from cement kilns to make nanoscale calcium carbonate and secondly, by using the a-CaCO3 capture product to replace part of the cement.
We thank CCM for its financial support of a PhD student ship tenable by LJM.
Electron Microscopy was performed in the ACEMAC Facility at the University of Aberdeen by Mr. J. Still. Several of our group have contributed to discussion and provided samples, so thanks go to Wanawan Pragot and M. Ara Carballo-Meilan
- Calcium carbonate
- Carbon capture and use (CCU)
- Cement mineralogy
- Circular economy
- Portland cement