07 Sep '11, 9am
Breakthrough Material: Novacem Carbon Negative Cement
Concrete is the second most used product on the planet, after water, and almost half of it is produced in China. The booming Chinese economy has created such a demand for building materials that cement production there last year released 540m tonnes of carbon dioxide – just short of Britain’s total output from all sources. Cement’s weight and low value mean it is almost always made close to where it is needed, and China’s demand helped it to overtake the US as the world’s leading polluter last year. Like the aviation industry, the expected rapid growth in cement production is at severe odds with calls to cut carbon emissions to tackle global warming.