CO2 capture adsorbents using sol-gel technology to develop a carbon neutral cement

Pooja Anil Kumar Nair, Kevin Paine, Juliana Calabria-Holley

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Cement is one of the two largest producers of carbon dioxide creating over 5% of total man-made emission in the world. However, it may be possible to capture CO2 within the cement through carbonation process. CO2 when added to cement during mixing reacts with water and cement to form calcium carbonate (calcite) minerals at the initial stages of hydration. These precipitated calcite particles in the microstructure can act as a seeding agent in the hydration of
cement by providing additional nucleation sites. Furthermore, this approach can trap CO2 permanently in the pore structure. This paper couples adsorbents synthesised by sol-gel material with engineered carbon capture technology which will be incorporated in cement. CO2 captured aluminosilicates were synthesised using single step sol-gel process. The sol-gel technology aided in
the production of high surface area and homogenous adsorbents which trapped large amount of CO2 in its micro to mesopores of size ranging between 2-3 nm. These aluminosilicates were included in cement as an additive by partially replacing cement from 3% to 15%. The cement samples were
cured in a carbonation chamber to maximise the CO2 intake. Nitrogen Adsorption, FTIR, TGA and SEM of the synthesised cement samples showed significant changes in the microstructure of the resulting cement paste indicating accelerated carbonation reaction while at the same time reducing
free water and bound water. The captured CO2 in the adsorbents reacted with clinker and precipitated to form calcite inside the pores and aluminosilicate network helped in developing additional nucleation sites creating a less permeable structure. The resultant cement showed improved physical and chemical properties delivering a more durable and denser cement matrix.
This work shows the potential to develop a novel carbon neutral construction material enhanced with sol-gel technology that will aid to close the loop of CO2 emission during cement manufacturing. The creation of such a carbon neutral cement will be a breakthrough in the building construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Event20th International Sol-Gel Conference - St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 25 Aug 201930 Aug 2019


Conference20th International Sol-Gel Conference
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg
Internet address


  • CO2 Capture
  • Aluminosilicates
  • Adsorbents
  • Sol-gel
  • Calcite


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