PSI Researches for Low CO2 Cement


Villigen AG – A research team involving the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the University of Grenoble Alpes is on the trail of a disadvantage of low-carbon cements: the slow hydration kinetics in the first three days. The aim is to achieve faster strength of green cements.

A research team aims to bring to light previously unknown processes in the hydration of cement. Through a deeper understanding, it aims to pave the way for low-carbon cements. Under the leadership of the University of Malaga, the study involves the French University of Grenobles Alpes, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility(ESRF), also located in Grenoble, and the Paul Scherrer Institute.

According to a PSI statement, the biggest drawback of the currently available proposals for low-carbon cements is the slow hydration kinetics in the first three days. However, it is understanding the processes involved in cement production in the early stages that is “crucial,” explains study first author and doctoral student at the University of Malaga, Shiva Shirani. “That’s why we developed a method to get a complete picture of Portland cement hydration.”

To do this, the scientists combined complementary experimental approaches at the ESRF and the Swiss Synchrotron Light Source at PSI. Near-field ptychotomography revealed hydration of commercial Portland cement, according to the release.

“Understanding the mechanics of the slowest processes will hopefully lead to strategies to reasonably accelerate the hydration of low-carbon cements,” said co-author Professor Miguel A.G. Aranda. This could be done, for example, by using strength-increasing admixtures “to enable early removal of the formwork.” ce/mm