The production of cement causes more CO2 emission than the overall global air traffic. Researchers have found alternatives. Why are they not being used?
By Jörg Römer
Whoever once walked through German suburbs like Mümmelmannsberg in Hamburg or Berlin-Marzahn, which are filled with skyscrapers, knows what concrete architecture can cause. Walls of apartment blocks reach many meters high into the sky. Hardly any green – These large housings built in the 70s and 80s have contributed to the doubtful reputation of cement. It does not surprise that the German word “Betonwüste” (concrete wasteland) can nowadays found in dictionaries.
Nevertheless nothing works in the construction industry without concrete. Hardly any house, hardly and bridge could exist without this material. Walls, ceilings, staircases, roofs, bridge piers, streets, parking lots, even foundations for wind turbines and small garden sheds – everything needs cement. The composite can be poured into almost any form. After some time it hardens and becomes artificial stone.
Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash