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Keeping you informed about the TecEco cement and kiln projects. Issue 48, 31 May 2005
John Harrison will be traveling over the next few weeks should anybody be interested in making contact with him please phone +61 413993911
John will be staying at the the Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603, United States and attending the "Greening the Heartland" conference at the Palmer House Hilton. He will be speaking on Thursday, June 2, 2005 at 10:30 - 11:45 am in session 605 about Eco-Cements.
On Thursday, June 2nd from 6-8pm he will be giving a talk at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, City of Chicago, Department of Environment, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd. Chicago, Illinois 60612 and on the 3rd June at 4.00 pm at the Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Suite A130, Evanston, IL 60208.
John will be in Ottawa from the 5th to 7th June making the case for sequestration on a massive scale using TecEco technology to government. He will be staying at the Lord Elgin Hotel at 100 Elgin St., OTTAWA ON K1P 5K8.
On the night of the 7th he will be traveling through to Calgary on his way to Banff and staying at the Sandman Hotel Downtown Calgary, 888 7TH Avenue SW, Calgary ALBERTA, B T2P 3J3, CANADA
John will then be in Banff from the 8th to the 12th June staying at the Professional Development Center, 107 St-Julian Rd. Banff ALBERTA, CANADA. He will be speaking on a number of topics at the 10th Canadian Masonry Conference.
John will be in Vienna, Austria from the 12th to 15th June, where he is a keynote at Magmin05 and staying at the InterContinental Wien, Johannesgasse 28, A-1037 VIENNA, AUSTRIA.
John will be in Tokyo from the 16th to 19th June and will again be making the case for sequestration on a massive scale using TecEco technology to the Japanese government which like Canada currently has no clear plan as to who they plan to meet their Kyoto targets. He will be staying at the Daiichi Hotel Anne, Tokyo, 1-5-2 UCHISAIWAI-CHO, TOKYO 100, JAPAN.
John will arrive in Singapore on the 19th June and leave Monday night the 20th
June late. In Singapore he will again be making the case for sequestration on
a massive scale using TecEco technology to government. (See below). He will
be staying at the New York Hotel, Singapore, 21 Mount Elizabeth St., SINGAPORE
John will arrive back in Melbourne in the morning of the 21st June - just in time for another meeting!
Many people in high places in government have a political science or legal background and lots of pre-conceived ideas as to their role.
TecEco are in a difficult philosophical position to come to grips with. We are a corporate yet working for the greater public good. Governments do not know how to handle this.
Why is TecEco a corporate entity? The reason is really quite simple.
Problems in the global commons today such as heavy metals, halogen carbon
double bonds, too much CO2 etc. can only be changed by changing the molecular
flows underlying planetary anthropogenic materials flows so that the every day
behaviors of people interacting in an economic system will deliver new more
This will not happen because it is the right thing to do. Pilzer's first law states that the technology paradigm defines resources. Changing the flow of resources therefore has to be economic. For this reason TecEco are a company.
If governments exist for the greater public good then it is essential that they consider how they can nurture economic systems that will deliver this good. One global response that does not nearly go far enough is of course Kyoto. I believe that and even "wetter" mission directed economic approach is essential.
Therein lies TecEco's problem. Because TecEco are a corporate it is very easy for government officials to sidestep their responsibilities for the greater good and redirect our requests for assistance to the market place. Some people in government actually think that in some way TecEco should pay for saving the world from global warming and waste problems.
Unfortunately the economics of time and scale are currently against the company and we need the involvement of governments to help make it happen. We need partners with a longer than short term market view and a vested interest (the public good). Once underway I have no doubt that the technical paradigms we deliver for massive sequestration and waste utilization will be economic.
An example of where governments could be of assistance is in relation to Kyoto.
If Australia and the US joined that would help establish sequestration as a
viable adjunct to energy efficiency currently seen as the "low hanging
fruit." In the end it may well be political gamesmanship rather than common
sense that gets Australia, the US and other recalcitrants moving in the right
Peter Ellyard (Thoughts for a New Millennium) and many others speak of the planetist world we need to move in the direction of as we evolve. In this world of the future we will need to adopt a much more mission orientated direction if we wish to "thrive" for development of the state. Each country would seriously consider its strengths and weaknesses and put money where it will count. As Edward de Bono said a couple of years ago in Launceston, promote what will obviously lead and succeed. Those businesses will pull up the rest.
WBCSD President Björn Stigson said in Geneva on the 26 November 2004, “Technology is a key part of the solutions for sustainable development. Innovation and technology are tools for achieving higher resource efficiency in society.” He is correct and we must find ways of supporting new technologies like TecEco's.
There us a serious bottleneck in providing the finance required to move technology paradigms forward and I believe the insurance industry will have to provide the finance necessary as the medium and long term insurance risks of global warming and other issues affecting the global commons are frightening
As well as taking a more proactive role towards delivering the "greater good" to communities governments can also do a lot to move economies in the direction of greater sustainability in resource use through their procurement policies as they can uniquely absorb the risk of adopting new but as yet comparatively unproven technologies.
Government purchasing is over 30% of GDP in most countries, and the flow on benefits could be billions of dollars per annum. Unfortunately however governments are not taking the lead in relation to procurement. They are slow to consider new sustainable technologies because they are risk adverse. Tenders call for conventional technology, consulting engineers are inhibited from recommending new solutions because of liability issues and contractors resist submitting non conforming solutions regardless of "white wash" government policies that call for cost savings and sustainable solutions. The ramifications are that good technologies like TecEco's are forced offshore for development and the development of technology paradigms that will nurture sustainable development delayed. The serious consideration of procurement policies as a way of bringing forward new technologies are essential the world over. Perhaps governments are large enough to self insure against technical failure.
Comments by readers on this all important subject of accelerating technical change are invited.
Traditionally binders for "mud" bricks have utilized binders such
as Portland cement (PC), lime, pozzolanas, bitumen
emulsion and straw (for "puddled" mud bricks). TecEco are now test marketing an Eco-Cement formulation for block making that greatly improves strength and resistance to exposure as well as making them more sustainable.
Our objective was to produce a formulation for stabilized pressed earth bricks that would not only satisfy building inspectors but at the same time provide superior properties at lower cost.
Currently Portland cement (PC) is the main binder used at an addition rate of 2.5% by volume of PC mixed with local subsoil. One of the main problems is that with higher than 10% clay content the efficiency of PC drops off and results are not so good.
TecEco have very successfully trailed an Eco-Cement formula in Victoria and after substantial curing, 2 test batches of bricks were sent to the Brick and Mortar Research Laboratory (BMRL) in Hoppers Crossing Victoria for compressive strength testing.
The results were as follows:
Batch No. 6523 OPC only to 2.5% of brick by uncompressed volume. Batch size: 6
Mean unconfined compressive strength: 0.4 MPa
Unbiased standard deviation 0.1MPa
Batch No. 6524 OPC: Eco-cement at 2.5% of brick by uncompressed volume. Batch size 6
Mean unconfined compressive strength: 1.0MPa
Unbiased standard deviation: 0.2Mpa
Other mixes were used (no stabilizer at all and a batch with another PC additive) but were not tested as they were not as good.
The TecEco bricks had a mean strength of 1.0Mpa which is 150% more than the PC only bricks and therefore easily passed requirements for load bearing houses according to BMRL. Qualitative tests indicated that the TecEco Eco-Cement bricks also had very good water erosion resistance and the remainder of the bricks have since been exposed to the elements over a 12 month period without problems. (Mud bricks are generally however recommended to be protected by eaves and verandas).
An important advantage for those with an interest in sustainable (alternative) building is the improved sustainability. More strength for less total binder is one aspect, another is in the way the use of Eco-Cements reduces net emissions. PC use is seen as problematic because of its high embodied energy and CO2 as well as lower strength characteristics particularly with the more common high clay soils. There should therefore be many commercial mud brick suppliers that would be interested in replacing PC in their product.
A lot more testing on different batches will build a better knowledge base
as to exactly how much better Eco-Cement perform and at this stage we are interested
in talking to potential participants in just such a test program.