India’s G20 presidency prioritizes climate change and green construction. Researchers at IIT Kharagpur develop a patented Nano-Engineered Graphene derivative to reduce clinker factor, potentially saving up to 25% in CO2 emissions annually.
The cement industry, responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions, produces over 4.4 billion tons of cement each year, contributing significantly to global warming. By 2050, experts anticipate a rise in cement production to reach 5.5 billion tons. Clinker production, a key component of cement strength, accounts for this substantial carbon footprint. However, reducing clinker content without compromising cement strength has posed a formidable challenge for cement manufacturers worldwide.
The Nano-Engineered Graphene derivative developed by the IIT Kharagpur team offers a unique solution. By leveraging its distinct product fingerprint, this innovation facilitates the physical removal of clinker, leading to a remarkable 25% increase in cement strength. Furthermore, it reduces the water-to-cement ratio, promoting water conservation—an especially valuable benefit in water-scarce regions. The graphene-reinforced cement and concrete can seamlessly integrate into existing industrial processes on a large scale, thereby reducing energy consumption significantly. The novel product also enhances durability and resilience while reducing crack propagation, thus requiring shorter curing times. This technology caters to the needs of PPC, OPC, and slag-based cement industries, making it a versatile solution for the sector.
Prof. T.K Bhattacharyya, the project’s lead researcher, emphasized the urgent need to decarbonize cement production to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. While several cement companies have made efforts to develop green cement, none have succeeded in physically reducing clinker content—until now. The IIT Kharagpur team’s breakthrough technology revolutionizes green construction by effectively reducing clinker without compromising strength.
Cement production’s carbon-intensive nature, involving the use of fossil fuels to heat limestone and clay at high temperatures, is the primary source of emissions. With every ton of cement produced, approximately 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide are released.
To validate their innovation, the researchers conducted laboratory tests at the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur. Subsequently, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) underwent validation at the industrial testing laboratories of a major cement producing company. Additionally, a patent has been filed and published, ensuring the protection of this groundbreaking technology.
IIT Kharagpur’s Nano-Engineered Graphene reduces clinker, saving 25% CO2 emissions and cutting cement production costs.