Monday, November 21, 2016

Concrete Jungle Functions as Carbon Sink, Researchers Find

Cement manufacturing is among the most carbon-intensive industrial processes, but an international team of researchers has found that over time, the widely used building material reabsorbs much of the carbon dioxide emitted when it was made.

An international team of researchers including UCI Earth system scientist Steven Davis has found that over time, cement reabsorbs a significant portion of the carbon dioxide emitted when the material was manufactured. (Credit: Steven Davis / UCI) Click to Enlarge.
"It sounds counterintuitive, but it's true," said Steven Davis, associate professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine.  "The cement poured around the world since 1930 has taken up a substantial portion of the CO2 released when it was initially produced."

For a study published in Nature Geoscience, Davis and colleagues from China, Europe and other U.S. institutions tallied the emissions from cement manufacturing and compared them to the amount of CO2 reabsorbed by the material over its complete life cycle, which includes normal use, disposal and recycling.  They found that "cement is a large, overlooked and growing net sink" around the world -- "sink" meaning a feature such as a forest or ocean that takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and permanently tucks it away so that it can no longer contribute to climate change.

Read more at Concrete Jungle Functions as Carbon Sink, Researchers Find

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