Study shows potential to produce organic cement
- Submitted by: Luis Manuel Mazorra
- Science and Technology
- 04 / 07 / 2012
In search of alternatives to avoid environmental pollution a team of scientists at the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de Las Villas and the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, conducted a study demonstrated the possibility of producing organic cement as in the process would be replaced clinker, its main component, a mixture of material known as "metakaolin" and unburned limestone, this procedure reduces considerably the tonnes of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere.
To get an idea of the significance of the proposed innovation, suffice it to say that for every ton of cement produced, it generates about one carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most of which originates in decomposition of said stone element in the production of clinker.
According to scientific inquiry, cement production accounts for between eight and ten percent of global CO2 emissions caused by human activity, and if we consider that only in 2010 occurred on a global scale A total of 3 300 million tons of the binder, we can understand the extent of damage caused.
Dr. Jose Fernando Martirena Sciences, director of the Center for Research and Development of Structures and Materials (ICW), belonging to the house of higher learning, explains that the metakaolin is produced from calcined kaolinitic clay at low temperatures.
It also explains that it has demonstrated the possibility of using various types of clays Cuban in the drafting of the product, verifying that there are also geological reserves can guarantee at least 100 years of exploitation in the production of cement.
"The project has been accompanied by the Cement Business Group, GECEM, Ministry of Construction (Construction Ministry) entity that has provided the cement factory Siguaney of Sancti Spiritus, to perform experimental tests of production," explains Dr. Martirena, who reports that the tests conducted to date demonstrate the possibility of replacing more than 50% of the clinker used in this production by the mixture of limestone and metakaolin.
According to the criteria of the specialist, performed economic studies show that the metakaolin may occur at about half the cost of clinker and limestone costs are comparatively negligible. Also, preliminary analyzes indicate that spending could be reduced in the production of cement by up to 35 or 40% of the current.
He argues that this type of cement is particularly useful in applications that do not bear reinforcement, ie the production of concrete blocks, roof tiles, and generally in all the final papers, besides being very useful oil industry for their refractory properties.
According to the director of the ICW, Spiritus factory is able to make the necessary modifications to the production process, and very soon bring to market a lower-cost cement, which, among other purposes, could be sold at prices of economic benefit to the population.
To undertake such productions would also have a significant environmental impact by reducing up to 50% of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, which is very favorable when compared to the level of current emissions, which range between 75 and 88%, reveals the scientist.
Initiatives like this are favored by so-called Clean Development Mechanisms, included in the Kyoto Protocol, which provide sources of financing to developing countries as they implement projects that reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
As expressed by the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy, success in updating the Cuban economic model transit, including rail, for the agility with which we apply the results of science and technology to the different production processes.
Hence the importance of spreading ideas as presented by scientists Villa Clara, with the support of the University of Lausanne, for which the GECEM is holding all the evidence, conclusively, that technically the ecological cement can be produced in Cuba.
Asked about the validity of the proposal, the director general of the cement factory Siguaney, Engineer Gustavo Suarez Naples, recognized the importance and viability of the project, which was subjected to laboratory tests with very encouraging results, subtracting only to test industrial as close as possible to reality.
In this regard, Dr. Fernando Martirena said that since last year, the Construction Ministry planned to conduct a pilot production of 300 tons Siguaney factory, while some companies and research centers would work in the studio and on the issue of technical standards production, but logistics and some decisions have been delayed pending this step is essential.
With the introduction of this new result, the cement industry could put Cuba as a world leader in organic production of cement, which would be a significant response to demand production imposed by the current and future development of the country.