Obel Award 2022, Won by Seratech Carbon-neutral Concrete.

British company Seratech has been awarded the architectural-focused Obel Award with its carbon-neutral prototype concrete. It claims that concrete is cost-effective and easy to build. 

Established in the Ph.D. program by Students Sam Draper and Barney Shanks to market their research at Imperial College London, Seratech replaces a part of the cement in concrete with silica made from carbon dioxide from factory exhausts. 

There is a limit of 40 % of the content in cement in concrete that can be substituted in this manner. According to Seratech, the carbon storage and capture (CCS) required to create the replacement material ensures that. There is more carbon retained in concrete than produced by its cement production, and thus, it is carbon neutral. 

Seratech has developed an initial carbon-natural concrete prototype. 

Cement can be a highly emission-producing material that is currently responsible for around 8 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. 

“Once the technology is developed and scaled up, Seratech has the potential to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the building industry,” stated the Obel Award jury. Obel Award jury. 

While other researchers and companies are working on new technologies that could replace all cement used in cement, Seratch states. The method is the most effective in it being the best practical soon. 

Replacing all Portland cement is the primary technique to make carbon-impartial cement without turning CCS or counterbalances. But this method has many negatives.                                                                                                                                                          

The ingredients for these binders, commonly known as ‘geopolymers,’ aren’t available on the scale required to make a significant difference in the current cement production or pollution,” he continued.

The most commonly used is GGBS (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace slag as a by-product from steel production. Yet it is used as a substitute for cement in a limited amount. Material.

A small part of the concrete’s content gets replaced with silica, a substance that is created by carbon storage and capture (CCS). 

In contrast, the raw materials required for Seratch’s technology are carbon dioxide from industry and olivine. 

If industry emissions are eventually reduced, production isn’t as abundant. Draper suggests that Seratech could use a low-cost direct air capture system instead, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The main benefit of this technological advancement is that the technology could be integrated into the existing concrete manufacturing procedures without significant changes in practices, speeding up implementation. Silica is blended with Portland cement on site, just as with any other cementation supplementary material (SCM).

Some concrete free covers are produced using different compound equations, which could be a wellspring of concern concerning their exhibition over the long haul and life span. For this reason, the business is reluctant to settle on a choice to go with them, which could influence how insurance companies protect structures. 

We cannot afford to wait 20 to 50 years for the technology to advance enough to produce sustainable materials; he went on. “It must happen right away.”

In 2019 The Obel Award was awarded annually by the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation to honour an outstanding contribution to architecture to the development of humanity. Each year, the award has distinct themes and this year’s focus is an embodied emission. 

Previous winners include scientist Carlos Moreno for his urban strategy, the 15-Minute City and architect Anna Heringer for the Anandaloy construction located in the rural region of Bangladesh. 

Draper and Shanks will be awarded prize money for €100,000 (PS86,450) and an original piece of artwork created by artist Tomas Saraceno as a trophy. 

A more recent and experimental attempt to create carbon-neutral concrete came from The University of Colorado Boulder, where concrete content was replaced entirely by limestone grown through algae.

Leave a Comment