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Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Mineral-based Construction Materials

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Focus Area 2E – Maximising circularity of concrete from C&D waste by complex systems modelling

This focus area aims to develop a strategy for 100% circularity of demolished concrete, whether as a feedstock in the cement kiln, in blended cements, or as aggregate.

2e

Description

Concrete from demolition currently tends to be downcycled and a strategy is needed to move its management up the waste hierarchy and close the loop.

This project will work with a range of stakeholders (cement manufacturers, concrete producers, demolition contractors) to look at the material arising upon concrete demolition and use a complex value optimisation approach to determine the optimum circular economy route for demolition waste.

For example, cement dust could be reintroduced into a cement kiln, or blended with cement if carbonated. Fine aggregate meanwhile could be added to concrete, used in a kiln, or blended with cement.

In each case, the project will consider the properties of the original parent concrete, the technical properties of the resultant waste, the environmental impact of the material and that which it is replacing, and financial drivers.