CORDIS - EU research results

Zero-CO2 cement concept evaluated with novel Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Project description

A concrete approach to making cement with net zero carbon emissions

Cement is the most widely used man-made material in existence, but it is also a massive source of CO2 emissions. According to studies, cement production will account for nearly 25 % of global CO2 emissions by 2025. The EU-funded NMRCement project will explore the potential of a novel silicate glass to reduce the carbon footprint of cement production. Researchers will thoroughly study the tuneable reactivity and nanoscale phase separations of the material. Scanning electron microscopy will be used to image phase separations. To probe the chemical structure of molecules, researchers will employ breakthrough nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques that can enhance the sensitivity and time resolution by several orders of magnitude compared to current NMR technology.


The production of cement is predicted to account for 25% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 2025. There is a need to produce novel reduced CO2 cement materials to reduce global carbon emissions. This project aims to characterise a novel silicate glass material for the production of reduced CO2 cement. The novel silicate glass utilises nanoscale phase separations to enhance the reactivity. The goal of this work is two fold: first, to systematically study the tuneability of the reactivity and nanoscale phase separations in the silicate glass and second, to characterise the glass and cement samples with advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods. First, enhanced reactivity of glasses has previously been observed but has not been systematically studied. The composition of the silicate glass will be changed to study the tuneability of the reactivity and phase separations. The studies will be conducted using standard experiments such as solid state NMR for studying the chemical bonding and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for visualising phase separations. The results of these studies will contribute to knowledge in glass science and produce a reduced CO2 cement material. Second, the glass and cement will be studied with advanced NMR methods. NMR is a research tool that has previously proven successful in studying the pore structures of glasses and cements. This proposal will utilise breakthroughs in NMR technology, ultrafast Laplace NMR (LNMR) and hyperpolarisaton, to gain further insight into the microstructure of samples. Ultrafast LNMR enhances the time sensitivity of LNMR scans by 2-4 magnitudes and reduces scan time by 1-2 orders of magnitude. Hyperpolarisation enhances the sensitivity of NMR scans by 2-5 orders of magnitude. Together these methods will be used to enhance the time resolution and sensitivity of NMR methods. The results of these studies will produce new NMR methodology and provide novel data in glass and cement samples.


Net EU contribution
€ 190 680,96
90014 Oulu

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Manner-Suomi Pohjois- ja Itä-Suomi Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 190 680,96