Scientists from Solidia Techologies joined other leaders in infrastructure materials research gathered at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) to discuss the need for sustainable alternative cementitious materials in the face of America’s mounting infrastructure issues. Solidia's Principal Scientist Sada Sahu presented “Performance of Carbonated Concrete” during the Third Bi-Annual Workshop on Emerging Developments Related to Alkali-Aggregate-Reaction (AAR) and the Use of Alternative Cementitious Materials (ACMs) in Highway Infrastructure.

Solidia Concrete railroad tie.
Solidia Technologies Solidia Concrete railroad tie.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that $170 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis to significantly improve conditions and performance, therefore finding solutions that are more resilient and sustainable is a critical mandate of FHWA.

Dr. Sahu presented results of tests demonstrating performance and sustainability profile of Solidia Concrete™ as compared to traditional cement and concrete. Solidia offers a low-lime containing calcium silicate cement (CSC) that emits 30% less CO₂ during the production process compared to ordinary Portland cement (OPC). CSC can consume up to 300 kg of CO₂ per ton of cement during the curing process of the concrete resulting in up to 70% reduction in CO₂ emission.

“Finished Solidia Concrete products can contain up to 7 wt% of sequestered CO₂, although it is subject to the particular application,” reported Dr. Sahu. “Solidia uses carbonation instead of hydration, so we are not only reducing CO₂ in the atmosphere by sequestering in concrete products, but we are also able to recycle and save water used in the process.”

Dr. Sahu was joined by research partner Jason Weiss, professor of civil engineering at Oregon State University who presented a paper entitled "The Role of Alternative Cements in Limiting Joint Damage Due to Calcium Oxychloride.” Weiss reported test results demonstrating the superior performance of Solidia Cement-based concrete in freeze thaw environments with deicing salts.

“Solidia Cement and Concrete address pressing concerns facing the cement and concrete industry and the world at large,” said Sahu. “The production of cement, which is used to make concrete, is responsible for 3-5% of total global carbon emissions, water scarcity is becoming more of an issue, and the rise of urbanization and industrialization is placing increased stress on aging infrastructure the world over. Solidia Technologies offers a profitable solution to all these challenges, with products that have proven to be stronger and more durable than traditional Portland cement-based products.”

USDOT’s FHWA supports Solidia with a multi-year Cooperative Agreement to examine Solidia Concrete in transportation infrastructure applications. This joint program includes independent testing of Solidia Concrete at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.