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SolidRock uses waste products from the mining industry to make low-carbon building materials. Yet to be commercially implemented, the material has been tested in the offshore oil industry.
The demand for concrete in construction and other industries is expected to grow by 7 per cent each year through 2020. Production of cement for making concrete, however, accounts for as much as 8 per cent of global CO2 emissions each year.
In the mining industry, meanwhile, high volumes of waste materials stored in landfills or underwater deposits pose a threat to the environment, but could potentially be useful elsewhere.
SolidRock is a new geopolymer material which is similar to cement-based concrete but instead based on mining waste.
Using SolidRock in construction could not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cement production. It also has the potential to significantly reduce the need for waste deposits in the mining industry.
The material has been rigorously tested for use in offshore oil wells with successful results, though it is still awaiting third-party approval. It is currently being tested for use in the wider construction industry.
If successfully commercialised, SolidRock could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from construction and other industries significantly. SolidRock’s production process has up to 90 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional cement production.
SolidRock could, moreover, reduce or eliminate the need for huge waste deposits in the mining industry. Instead, waste products would be a resource for making SolidRock materials.
Today, concrete is the most used and versatile building material globally. SolidRock could replace Portland cement-based concrete and can be used worldwide for the same purposes. The market value of cement in the construction industry was estimated to USD 355.6 billion in 2016.
SolidRock was developed in collaboration between a Norwegian research institute (UiS) and a company specialising in petroleum technology. Now, the technology has been transferred to SafeRock AS.
Sustainable building material
Reduces carbon emissions from cement production
Reduces need for mining waste landfills