The university helps create concrete that could change the construction industry

La dott.ssa Sina Rezaei Gomari (a destra) mostra le strutture della Teesside University alla dott.ssa Elizabeth Gilligan e Sam Clark di Material Evolution <i>(Image: press release)</i>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/ src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/″3962/>f</div>
<p><figcaption class=Dr Sina Rezaei Gomari (right) showing Teesside University facilities to Dr Elizabeth Gilligan and Material Evolution’s Sam Clark (Image: press release)

With support from Teesside University, an environmentally sustainable building material is being developed which could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

University academics are collaborating with industry partners on a £7.6m project called ‘Mevocrete’ which aims to develop a new form of concrete made from by-products from the steel and chemical industries.

The product resulting from the Mevocrete project emits up to 85% less carbon dioxide than a traditional concrete.

Concrete is an essential material in the construction industry and the global concrete market is worth around £500 billion a year. But it is one of the single largest emitters of carbon dioxide accounting for up to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Mevocrete project is working with a revolutionary new building material made using scrap steel slag patented by Middlesbrough-based company Material Evolution Ltd.

The vast majority of waste materials from steelmaking are sent to landfill and it is estimated that there are 62 million tonnes of unused slag in the UK alone.

Teesside University has secured funding from Innovate UK to work with Material Evolution to help the company scale up its technology to create a large-scale on-site facility for cement production using scrap steel slag at Teesworks.

Researchers from the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies will analyze steel slag and its chemical composition and measure how efficient it is at sequestering carbon.

Next year will see the opening of Teesside University’s £13.1million Net Zero Industry Innovation Center (NZIIC), which will be central to the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s regional innovation strategy, positioning Teesside firmly at the heart of the Industrial Revolution UK green.

The University’s project manager, Dr Sina Rezaei Gomari, said: “For the UK to achieve its Net Zero goals, it is vital that we find new ways to decarbonise the construction industry and this project has the potential to have a major impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Professor David Hughes, Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) and co-lead of the Mevocrete project, added: “At Teesside University we are committed to finding new ways to create a smarter and greener industrial economy.

“Therefore we are delighted to be able to help Material Evolution create a circular approach to manage the historical waste material of the region’s steelmaking, while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of the construction sector.”

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Dr Elizabeth Gilligan, Founder and CEO of Material Evolution, added: “We are really excited to be embarking on this project with Teesside University.

“The Mevocrete project examines the entire supply chain, from raw material to the end user. At the end of the project, we will have a dedicated Mevocrete production line, which will deliver a truly carbon negative cement, which, importantly, will have been independently tested and verified.

“Using our ultra-low energy alkaline melting technology and utilizing hyperlocal waste streams, we can eliminate the need for ordinary Portland cement in concrete products. Industry needs to have innovations like this if we are to meet our need for rapid and radical decarbonisation.”

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