The production of cement currently accounts for about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, leading to calls for architects to stop using it. That’s a hard sell, considering cement is such useful material.

Fortunately, researchers at MIT have demonstrated an experimental way of manufacturing cement that releases no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Their method tackles the problem of carbon dioxide emissions at the two points in the cement manufacturing process where they arise: from the burning of coal to create the necessary high heats and from the gases released during the resulting chemical reaction.

Tackling the first source of CO2 was simply a matter of using electricity from renewable sources — sources that they note are increasingly the lowest-cost option.

The second source of CO2 involved a more novel approach of using an electrolyzer to convert the limestone’s calcium carbonate…
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