Towards a low CO2 emission building material employing bacterial metabolism (2/2): Prospects for global warming potential reduction in the concrete industry
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMyhr A, Røyne F, Brandtsegg AS, Bjerkseter C, Throne-Holst H, Borch A, Wentzel A, Røyne A. Towards a low CO2 emission building material employing bacterial metabolism (2/2): Prospects for global warming potential reduction in the concrete industry. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(4) https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0208643
The production of concrete is one of the most significant contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. This work focuses on bio-cementation-based products and their potential to reduce global warming potential (GWP). In particular, we address a proposed bio-cementation method employing bacterial metabolism in a two-step process of limestone dissolution and recrystallisation (BioZEment). A scenario-based techno-economic analysis (TEA) is combined with a life cycle assessment (LCA), a market model and a literature review of consumers’ willingness to pay, to compute the expected reduction of global GWP. Based on the LCA, the GWP of 1 ton of BioZEment is found to be 70–83% lower than conventional concrete. In the TEA, three scenarios are investigated: brick, precast and onsite production. The results indicate that brick production may be the easiest way to implement the products, but that due to high cost, the impact on global GWP will be marginal. For precast production the expected 10% higher material cost of BioZEment only produces a marginal increase in total cost. Thus, precast production has the potential to reduce global GWP from concrete production by 0–20%. Significant technological hurdles remain before BioZEment-based products can be used in onsite construction scenarios, but in this scenario, the potential GWP reduction ranges from 1 to 26%. While the potential to reduce global GWP is substantial, significant efforts need to be made both in regard to public acceptance and production methods for this potential to be unlocked.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
SeriesPLoS ONE;14 (4): e0208643
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2019 Myhr et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproductionin any medium,provided the original author and source are credited.