Exploring a new promising path towards Sustainable Cement Production

12 August 2021

In the quest to reduce our environmental footprint and achieve our net zero commitment, Holcim Innovation Center leads the ReActiv project: a research project founded by the European Commission that aims at transforming Alumina Industry residue into an active cementitious material.

 

ReActiv proposes a win-win scenario for both industrial sectors: reducing waste and CO2 emissions

 
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The ReActiv project will create a novel sustainable symbiotic value chain, linking the by-product of the alumina production industry with the cement production industry. Bauxite residue (BR) is the main by-product of the alumina sector produced at rates of 7 million tons per year in the European Union, while recycling rates are less than 100 thousand tons per year respectively. In the ReActiv project, certain modifications will be made to both the alumina production and the cement production side of the chain, in order to link them through the new ReActiv technologies.

The latter will modify the properties of the industrial residue, transforming into an active material (with pozzolanic or hydraulic activity) suitable for new, low CO2 footprint, cement products. In this manner ReActiv proposes a win-win scenario for both industrial sectors : reducing wastes and CO2 emissions respectively.

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To achieve its objectives the ReActiv project brings together the global leader in cement with the biggest alumina producers along with top research and technology centers with significant expertise in the field. Furthermore the European alumina association and the international aluminium institute participate in the project to safeguard the industrial dissemination and deployment of project results. Potentially, the methodology developed under ReActiv could be replicated for by-products of other industrial sectors as well.