Sample Blocks of Green Cement Concrete – photo by Alex Masi/Smithsonian
I just read a story in the current Smithsonian magazine about “Green Cement”, new mixtures being created to replace the Portland cement that has been a staple of modern construction since the 1820s when “Joseph Aspdin invented modern cement.” You see, Leftist sources of information like Smithsonian are still all Coo-Coo-for-Coco-Puffs over Global Warming and the making of cement releases a lot of CO2 — the devil incarnate of green-house gases according to the “consensus” of climate scientists hacks that control the current dialog on Climate Change. So that makes concrete BAD!!!
And the Obama EPA totally agrees and is implementing draconian regulations on our domestic cement industry that will shut down plants, make cement prices soar along with building costs — all of which will cost America more and more jobs.
Portland cement is a type of cement created by grinding base materials and heating them in kilns to a high temperature. The EPA has proposed new regulations on kiln emissions, which would severely impact the cement industry. The cement industry is already one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country.
Potential Impact on Jobs and the Economy
These new regulations set emission levels at unreachable levels and are expected to result in 18 plant closings, approximately 11 percent of production. The estimated $3.4 billion price tag over the next three years – which totals half of the entire industry’s annual revenues – would lead to at least 4,000 lost jobs and to increased costs.
In fact, a recent study by the Portland Cement Association estimates these regulations would raise the cost of state and local road projects between $1.2 billion and $2 billion annually.
But hey now — cement is BAD don’t ya know??? What to do, what to do? Why, make a BETTER, GREENER cement of course! Everyone wants to go GREEN nowdays — it’s on all the product labels so it must be true.
From the Smithsonian article:
The chemicals [Nikolaos] Vlasopoulos mixes with magnesium oxide and water to make the cement harden are magnesium carbonates, which he makes by adding carbon dioxide to other raw materials. That means the cement, in some scenarios, is not just carbon neutral—it’s carbon negative. For every ton of Vlasopoulos’ cement produced, one-tenth of a ton of carbon dioxide could be absorbed.
Eventually Vlasopoulos, with Cheeseman’s help, started a company, Novacem, to develop a new cement. The firm, with more than a dozen employees and partnerships with some of the biggest cement companies in the world, is located in a business incubator for high-tech startup companies at Imperial College.
“The cement industry is now stepping up in financially significant, in scientifically significant ways right now,” said Jennings, referring to all of the various experimental approaches. “The world is changing. Everyone, including all the cement companies, will need to be as green as possible and take care of the world a little better.”
The major obstacle that the company still has to overcome is history. Portland cement works. Always has, since that afternoon in 1824 in Joseph Aspdin’s kitchen. “Cement has been around a very long time,” Bhardwaj said. “People trust that. They can look around at all the buildings that have survived hundreds of years. So for Novacem, the proof of durability will take time. They will have to go slow. If I have to build a bridge or a building using Novacem cement, how do I convince people that that is OK? That’s the challenge. Nobody wants a bridge to fall down.”
Go and read the entire article. For me, one thing missing was any discussion of the cost of these new cements, let alone any comparison of their costs to the existing Portland cement. That leads me to believe that they will be a factor, or multiple factors more expensive than the cost of what we use now. And that make the existence of the EPA regs crystal clear.
The only way to get industry to switch to these new GREEN cements is to make Portland cement just as expensive or more so, if not regulate it completely out of the industrial system!
Just more strong-arm tactics from the Obama administration to promote and shove the radical-environmental movement down America’s throat!
It’s the Chicago way . . .