Sustainability of TecEco Cements

The new TecEco binder technologies are a breakthrough in that they change the technology paradigm and allow Pilzer[1] first law technical substitution resulting in materials flows that improve sustainability. TecEco cements make a big difference by making it possible to formulate composites that can utilise wastes due to their low reactivity and high adhesion, have lower embodied energies and reduced net emissions and are themselves recyclable.
Composites manufactured with TecEco binders can also have varying physical properties desirable for the reduction of lifetime energies.

TecEco cements are a blending system whereby reactive magnesia is blended with other hydraulic cements

The TecEco Cement System

There are three core cement formulations: Tec-Cement, Enviro-Cement and Eco-Cement, each of which improves the sustainability of the built environment in a different way.

Tec-Cements offer greatly improved durability, increasing the service life of concrete thereby reducing the need for replacement.

Enviro-Cements are ideal for the solidification and encapsulation of toxic and hazardous wastes. With huge levels of wastes generated every day across the globe, effective waste management technology is essential in order to minimise disruption to the earths biosphere..

Eco-Cement formulations for products such as bricks, blocks and pavers, mortars. pervious pavements and the production of "earth" buildings are made substantially from industrial wastes and have huge abatement and waste utilisation potential. 

Eco-Cements in permeable materials gain strength by absorbing carbon dioxide and thus offer abatement. With the inclusion of waste organic or carbon based materials Eco-Cement concretes are potentially net carbon sinks. With capture of carbon during the manufacturing process in the TecEco Tec-Kiln they are the solution to global warming given the huge flows involved constructing the built environment. In the Gaia Engineering tececology being undertaken by TecEco as a member of the Global Sustainability Alliance the magnesium required comes from sea water.

Abatement and Sequestration depending on method of manufacture of TecEco Eco-Cements

The manufacture of Portland cement requires a lot more energy than the production of Eco-Cements and results in between .87[2] and 1.3[3] tonnes of CO2 emissions per tonne of cement produced. A figure given by Pearce [4] of 1 tonne of CO2 emitted per tonne of Portland cement produced is generally accepted and the CO2 produced accounts for between 5%[5] and 10%6][7] of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The firing of clay bricks also produces considerable CO2 at around .28 tonne of CO2 per tonne of bricks produced[8].

Portland cement production and hence CO2 emissions are currently in the order of 2 billion tonnes[9]. The quantity of clay bricks produced is substantial but not accurately known as the industry is much more fragmented. With over 600 million tonnes of fly ash waste produced annually world wide in the year 2000 [10], low utilisation in some countries and huge stockpiles, (in Australia we dump around 8 million tonnes of fly ash annually) binding fly and bottom ash and other wastes with Eco-Cements to make walling products and other components of the built environment is a priority for TecEco.

By using TecEco Cements offer considerable abatement. and lower costs due to reduced energy inputs and greater waste utilisation. In a competitive industry such as construction, this is important. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute puts it aptly in saying that green technology “will happen, and happen rapidly – because it’s profitable”[11]. Eco-Cement formulations are environmentally sustainable and relatively cheap as the ingredients are mostly wastes.

The cost of magnesia[12] suitable for TecEco Cements will also fall as the long run economies of scale of magnesite mining improve due to increasing demand for magnesium metal and as magnesia[12] will be produced as a waste from other processes (see www.nichromet.com).

TecEco Cements can also be produced from lower grade magnesite not suitable for other purposes and by using renewable energy and TecEco plan to commence pilot production as soon as possible. In the long run it is hoped to use the Greensols process to extract magnesium from seawater (see Gaia Engineering)

TecEco are a research and development organisation and will licence its technologies all over the world. Its software subsidiary TecSoft Pty. Ltd will sell programs to enable efficient formulation and data collection. Deployment will be driven not only by the need to reduce the impact of potential carbon taxes and waste and toxic waste disposal problems, but by a much lower bottom line given economies of scale. Environmental sentiment will also provide consumer pull.

The Gaia Engineering tececology which contemplates actually building with man made carbonate components, held together with TecEco Cements offers a solution to the carbon dioxide problem.


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[1] Pilzer, P.Z.(1990) Unlimited Wealth - The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy, Crown Publishers.

[2] Hendriks C.A., Worrell E, de Jager D., Blok K., and Riemer P. Emission Reductions of Greenhouse Gases from the Cement Industry. International Energy Agency Conference Paper at www.ieagreen.org.uk.

[3] Dr Selwyn Tucker CSIRO dbce Melb, pers comm.

[4]Pearce, F., "The Concrete Jungle Overheats", New Scientist, 19 July, No 2097, 1997 (page 14).

[5] Hendriks C.A., Worrell E, de Jager D., Blok K., and Riemer P. Emission Reductions of Greenhouse Gases from the Cement Industry. International Energy Agency Conference Paper at www.ieagreen.org.uk.

[6] Davidovits, J A Practical Way to Reduce Global Warming The Geopolymer Institute info@geopolymer.org, http://www.geopolymer.org/

[7] Pearce, F., "The Concrete Jungle Overheats", New Scientist, 19 July, No 2097, 1997 (page 14).

[8] Dr Selwyn Tucker CSIRO dbce Melb, pers comm.

[9] United States Government Survey (USGS) figure for 2000.

[10] Malhotra, V.M. Making concrete greener with fly ash Concrete International, May 1999, pp61-66.

[11] The Bulletin(Australia), April 25, 2000

[12] Reactive magnesia is also variously known as caustic calcined magnesia, caustic magnesia or CCM. The temperature of firing has a greater influence on reactivity than grind size as excess energy goes into lattice energy.

Technical information about reactive magnesia is available in the technical area of our web site.