Dr Sina Rezaei Gomari (right) presenting the Teesside University facilities to Dr Elizabeth Gilligan and Sam Clark from Material Evolution (Picture: press release)
An environmentally sustainable building material that could significantly reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint is being developed with support from the University of Teesside.
Academics from the University are working with industry partners on a £7.6 million project called ‘Mevocrete’ to develop a new form of concrete made from the by-products of the steel and chemical industries.
The product resulting from the Mevocrete project emits up to 85% less carbon dioxide compared to traditional concrete.
Concrete is a vital material in the construction industry and the global concrete market is worth around £500 billion a year. But it is one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, accounting for up to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Mevocrete project uses a revolutionary new building material made from scrap steel slag patented by Middlesbrough-based Material Evolution Ltd.
The vast majority of waste from steel production is sent to landfill and it is estimated that in the UK alone there are 62 million tonnes of unused slag waste.
Teesside University has secured funding from Innovate UK to work with Material Evolution to help the company develop its technology to create a large-scale on-site facility for the production of cement from waste slag of steel at Teesworks.
Researchers from the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies will analyze steel slag and its chemical composition and measure its effectiveness in sequestering carbon.
Next year will see the opening of Teesside University’s £13.1million Net Zero Industry Innovation Center (NZIIC), which will be at the heart of the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s regional innovation strategy, firmly positioning Teesside at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.
The university’s project leader, Dr Sina Rezaei Gomari, said: “For the UK to meet its Net Zero targets, it is imperative that we find new ways to decarbonise the construction industry, and that project has the potential to have a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. gas emission.”
Professor David Hughes, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) and Co-Lead of the Mevocrete Project, added: “At Teesside University, we are committed to finding new ways to forge a smarter and greener industrial economy.
“Therefore, we are delighted to be able to help Material Evolution create a circular approach to addressing the region’s historical steel production waste while simultaneously reducing the construction industry’s carbon footprint.”
Dr Elizabeth Gilligan, Founder and CEO of Material Evolution, added: “We are really excited to be embarking on this project with the University of Teesside.
“The Mevocrete project looks at the entire supply chain, from raw material to end user. At the end of the project, we will have a dedicated Mevocrete production line, delivering a truly carbon negative cement, which, importantly, will have been independently tested and verified.
“By using our ultra-low energy alkaline smelting technology and using hyper-local waste streams, we can eliminate the need for ordinary Portland cement in concrete products. The industry needs to have innovations like this if we want to meet our need to decarbonize quickly and radically.