Decarbonization of the Built Environment via CO2 Utilization

Concrete is the most widely used infrastructural material due to its superior mechanical properties and versatility. Unfortunately, concrete and aggregates as well as other construction materials have large environmental footprints including massive CO2 emissions. Furthermore, our infrastructure is rapidly gaining. Thus, there is a unique opportunity that can address both issues of CO2 emissions and sustainable construction materials development–utilizing captured CO2 in the production of construction materials.  

The LCSE core faculty members develop sustainable concretes and construction materials that exhibit reduced embodied carbon through partial replacement of cement with end-products of carbon sequestration technology, with tailored physical and chemical properties. Our key scientific and engineering questions are focused on the chemically enhanced extraction of alkaline metals (i.e., Ca and Mg) from industrial wastes (i.e., waste concretes and fly ash and bottom ash from power plants) to form solid carbonates, and their use and behavior in concrete as an alternative binder. The new scientific and engineering advancements and discoveries from these research efforts have led to the sustainable pathways towards the decarbonization of our built environment while incorporating new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing.

Related projects:

  • Sustainable Construction Materials with Integrated Upcycling of Waste Materials and Carbon Sequestration (LCSE PIs: Alissa Park, Shiho Kawashima)
  • A novel approach to CO2 Brick Production Integrated with Simultaneous Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Carbon Intensive Industrial By-Products (LCSE PI: Alissa Park, collaboration with Youngjune Park at GIST in Korea)
  • Advancing a Low Carbon Built Environment With Inherent Utilization of Waste Concrete and CO2 via Integrated Electrochemical, Chemical and Biological Routes (ADVENT)
  • Production of Commercial Grade Carbonates via Carbon Recycling and Process Intensification (LCSE PI: Aaron Moment)