Challenges to be addressed

The cement industry faces numerous challenges:

  • Depleting fossil fuel reserves
  • Scarcity of raw materials
  • Perpetually increasing demand for cement and concrete
  • Growing environmental concerns linked to climate change (high CO2 emissions) and an unstable global economy.

Thus, it is imperative to seek climate neutral solutions for construction development of improved production approaches that will restrict CO2 emissions from the cement manufacturing process. Furthermore, the recycling of mining and quarrying wastes are crucial actions for economic and environmental sustainability.

Current situation and proposed solutions

Current methods for mining waste valorization lack of economic viability since they require high capital investment as they aim the extraction of valuable metals which are in low concentration in the raw material.

Untill today several materials have been designed for the fire or blast protection of buildings, however, their high cost renders their application non affordable.

The existing fire-resistant materials do not have appropriate blast resistance due to their low compressive strength, while the blast resistant materials suffer in fire resistance properties because of the spalling phenomena.

MINE4BUILD aspires to address and overcome these challenges by employing a custom made geopolymeric technology to valorize mining wastes and develop an innovative, low cost and eco-friendly Smart Composite Geopolymeric Concrete (with dual behavior on fire and blast resistance), to provide a circular operation model for the relevant industries.

The specific objectives of MINE4BUILD is:

  • The development of a Smart Composite Geopolymer Concrete that will possess fire and blast resistance properties.
  • Validation of the laboratory scale prototype by applying the existing standard Fire and Blast Resistance tests.
  • Valorization of ca 20 kg of mining wastes during the project implementation.
  • Conduction of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate the safety, health and environmental impacts of new products and processes.

The long-term goal is to incorporate the derived smart building materials into the market and ensure effective commercialization.

The innovative Smart Composite Geopolymeric Concrete will have the above-mentioned characteristics:
  • 20% reduction of the environmental footprint compared to the current cementous materials.
  • Higher lifetime.
  • Lower production cost (30% at least) than the conventional ones.
  • Appropriate resistance against blast and fire, considering that currently there is no such material that can offer both services.