Recognizing C-Crete’s Eco-Friendly Basalt Concrete

basalt slab

(Credit: C-Crete)

by | Apr 9, 2024

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C-Crete Technologies, a leader in developing sustainable construction materials, has achieved a milestone by deploying the world’s first concrete made primarily from basalt. This move radically advances the company’s portfolio of eco-conscious building solutions. On March 14, C-Crete Technologies completed a pour at 7200 Woodlawn in Seattle, laying a 20-ton slab-on-grade foundation for an outdoor loading dock stem wall and a partial ramp, using basalt to substitute Portland cement completely. This undertaking at Hubbard’s Corner adds to earlier successful projects, cumulatively amounting to approximately 140 tons of C-Crete’s innovative cement-free concrete, incorporating various raw materials, including zeolite and basalt.

Advantages and Composition of Basalt-Based Concrete

Utilizing basalt as the primary binder and eliminating the need for Portland cement, C-Crete’s basalt-based concrete presents a considerable environmental advantage. Basalt, rich in silicon, aluminum, and calcium, offers an abundant alternative to the limestone traditionally used in cement production. Unlike Portland cement, a major contributor to global CO2 emissions, basalt is a non-carbonate rock that can be ground into a cement powder without releasing carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the curing process of this innovative concrete even captures CO2 from the atmosphere, amplifying its environmental benefits.

Donald Davies, a seasoned construction industry executive who owns the Seattle building known as Hubbard’s Corner and serves as the chair of Building Transparency—a nonprofit committed to helping the building industry tackle the issue of embodied carbon in climate change—highlighted the significance of this field trial. He noted that it transitions C-Crete’s basalt-based C1157 concrete from an experimental phase to being ready for pilot implementation in larger-scale projects. Davies emphasized the importance of this pour as a critical research and development milestone, demonstrating the idea’s viability through practical application and real-world validation.

Real-World Application and Performance

The successful pour at Hubbard’s Corner marks a significant advancement from laboratory research to real-world application. This basalt-based concrete not only meets but exceeds a compressive strength of 5,000 psi, demonstrating properties such as pumpability, workability, and durability that align closely with traditional concrete, all while adhering to ASTM International standards for construction materials.

Allan Paull, a construction executive with 44 years of industry experience, expressed enthusiasm about the potential of basalt concrete to address numerous challenges, suggesting that its successful application could significantly propel societal progress. He pointed out the innovative aspect of C-Crete’s ability to utilize various feedstocks without needing a vitrification process, which traditionally requires significant energy. Paull finds this aspect particularly exciting as it represents a departure from energy-intensive production methods. He also speculated that if the product undergoes thorough testing and proves successful, it could be quickly embraced by the construction industry. Paull drew a parallel to the steel industry’s shift from coal-powered blast furnaces to more efficient electric arc furnaces, suggesting that cement companies might similarly be eager to adopt basalt concrete technology due to its potential benefits and efficiency improvements.

 

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