C2O is the world leader in the development and commercialisation of Geopolymer and Alkali Activated Technology

Facilities and Equipment 

C20 has two fully equipped laboratories as well as a full-scale concrete batch plant for the research and development of MAGC.

C2O, through its strong relationship with Curtin University in Western Australia, has access to world class analytical equipment and facilities. MAGC works very closely with the Geopolymer and Minerals Processing Group to ensure our technology is at the forefront of global capability. The MAGC staff remains actively involved in fundamental research at the highest international levels.

Cement and sustainability 

Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is the grey powder that is mixed with water, rock and sand to create concrete, and is the largest commodity product on the planet with over 2.5 billion tonnes produced annually. It is also the third largest source of man-made CO2 emissions, representing approximately 5% of all emissions.

OPC is the dominant source of CO2 emissions from concrete (70%+) and the primary source of emissions in road, infrastructure and construction projects – around 20 – 40% of total project emissions according to the state of Victoria’s roads authority, VicRoads, and other bodies’ internal investigations. This makes reducing the amount of OPC used to make concrete a top priority. MAGC can totally replace OPC!

OPC is made primarily of 60% CaO, 40% SiO2 and some Al2O3, Fe2O3 and SO3. The source of calcium is limestone, which is mainly calcium carbonate, CaCO3, and is obtained through quarrying.

In manufacturing a tonne of OPC approximately 0.60 tonne CO2 from the CaCO3 CaO + CO2 calcination reaction. In addition, approximately 0.40 tonne CO2 is produced from fossil fuels used to generate the energy to heat the materials to 1400 degrees C. In total the manufacture of a tonne of OPC therefore emits approximately 1 tonne CO2.

  • Life Cycle Analysis

C20 commissioned Net Balance to complete a Life Cycle Analysis of MAGC, our low-carbon concrete. The result – using MAGC reduces the CO2 footprint of cement by 80%!

Geopolymers Cementitious Product 

Geopolymers are a type of inorganic polymer that can be formed at room temperature by using industrial waste or by-products as source materials to form a solid binder that looks like and performs a similar function to OPC. Geopolymer binder can be used in applications to fully or partially replace OPC with environmental and technical benefits, including an 80 – 90% reduction in CO2 emissions and improved resistance to fire and aggressive chemicals.

Geopolymer cement is made from aluminium and silicon, instead of calcium and silicon. The sources of aluminium in nature are not present as carbonates and therefore, when made active for use as cement, do not release vast quantities of CO2. The most readily available raw materials containing, carbon, aluminium and silicon are fly ash and slag and Micro Algae Biomass – these are the materials that MAGC uses to create its low carbon emission binder.

The main process difference between OPC and geopolymer cement is that OPC relies on a high-energy manufacturing process that imparts high potential energy to the material via calcination. This means the activated material will react readily with a low energy material such as water. On the other hand, geopolymer cement uses very low energy materials, like fly ashes, slags and other industrial wastes and a small amount of high chemical energy materials (alkali hydroxides) to bring about reaction only at the surfaces of particles to act as a glue.

This approach allows the use of measured amounts of chemicals to tailor the product to specification, rather than using an amount of very high-energy material required for OPC, regardless of whether the material is used to build strength (such as the inside of particles). This approach results in a very large energy saving in the production of geopolymer cement.

The properties of geopolymer cement, when used to make concrete, have been repeatedly and independently shown to be equivalent to other cements in terms of the structural qualities of the resulting concrete. Indeed, the fire resistance of MAGC™ has been tested to be well in excess of double that of traditional concrete. This is a highly significant technical benefit of MAGC™ and will drive wide scale adoption in high-rise construction in the near term, including in some government department buildings.

According to the International Energy Agency, the manufacture of cement produces about 0.9 kilograms of CO2 for every kilogram of cement. Around 5% of global CO2 emissions result from this process, making it one of the more polluting activities undertaken by mankind. The reason these facts are not commonly known is because there has been no alternative… until now.

C2O was founded with the vision of developing geopolymer technology and pioneering its commercialisation to make cement manufacture a far more sustainable and environmentally less harmful process.

Applications 

MAGC has been using MAGC™ in everyday concrete applications since 2006, building up a track-record of success with users including VicRoads, local government councils and large housing developers.

MAGC™ has been used in a broad range of applications, however, MAGC is currently focusing on the commercialisation of the following products:

  • Premixed and por in situ
  • Precast concrete seawalls
  • Blast walls and retaining wall structures

 

  • Regulatory Standards

Traditionally it has only been possible to make concrete using traditional cement, called Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC). Therefore, all of the standards that are used to regulate the cement and concrete industry assume that OPC is used – that is the way it has been for 150 years – until now! The availability and use of MAGC™ is fostered where specifiers and regulatory bodies around the world look at their cement and concrete standards and ask – ‘What are we trying to achieve?’ The answer is concrete that works, not concrete that must contain OPC. So what change has taken place?

We comply to all standards set down by the Technical Committee at Reunion Internationale des Laboratoires et Experts des Materiaux (RILEM) International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures formed to specifically set standards to govern the use of products like MAGC

Testing and certiifcation

Specific Testing and Verification Requirements Like most construction industry based products applications where public liability and risk profiles are critical, use of MAGC is required to meet many standard specified properties. Before moving from the laboratory to the field, verification of the technical qualities of geopolymer concrete was required. When considering that the material standards have generally been developed with the use of Ordinary Portland Cement expressly in mind, several specific challenges are imposed. The following items were considered critical with respect to verification and testing before moving into full commercial production: a) Compressive Strength (28 Days) b) Drying Shrinkage (up to 56 days) c) Strength Development Profile d) Flexural Strength e) Tensile Splitting Strength f) Poisson’s Ratio g) Bond Strength -Rebar Pullout h) Creep Items a) and b) are absolute values upon which the material is generally classified. i.e. N25 concrete implies 25 MPa compressive strength at 28 days, and nominally less than 1000 microstrain at 56 Days. Items c) to h) are non-prescribed values or ranges in terms of Australian and international standards, but contribute substantially to the application of concrete in usage. 

Investigations from Curtin University of Technology The following details are taken from the research reports from Curtin University of Technology, who have a team of researchers working on geopolymer technology as part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CRC-SRP). Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio Tests for Elastic Modulus and Poisson’s Ratio were carried out in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards, the results of which are presented in Table 2. Table 2 Compressive strength, Modulus of Elasticity and Poisson’s Ratio of geopolymer concrete formulations from Hardjito and Rangan (2005). Compressive Strength (MPa) Age of concrete (days) Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)

 Poisson’s Ratio 89 90 30.8 0.16 68 90 27.3 0.12 55 90 26.1 0.14 44 90 23.0 0.13 For OPC concrete, the Australian Standard AS 3600 recommends the following expression to calculate the value of the modulus of elasticity within an error of plus or minus 20 %: Ec = ρ 1.5 x ( 0.024(fcm + 0.12 )0.5 (MPa) (Equation 1) where ρ is the density of concrete in kg/m3 , and fcm is the mean compressive strength in MPa. The average density of the geopolymer concretes in the work of Hardjito and Rangan (2005) was 2350 kg/m3 . Table 3 shows the comparison between the measured value of modulus of elasticity of IPC with the values determined by Equation 1. Table 3 Comparison of Elastic Modulus (Measured) with Elastic Modulus (model) for AS 3600, from Hardjito and Rangan (2005) Compressive Strength (MPa) Modulus of Elasticity (measured) (GPa) Modulus of Elasticity (Equation 1) (GPa) 89 30.8 39.5 7.9 68 27.3 36.2 7.2 55 26.1 33.9 6.8 44 23.0 31.8 6.4

MAGC™ is C2o’s proprietary geopolymer technology product. Consisting of biomass from the production of MMA, MAGC™ reduces the embedded CO2 of concrete by at least 60% compared to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) based concrete. This provides two significant environmental benefits: the first is CO2 abatement, which is unparalleled in the construction industry, and the second is the use of recycled industrial waste resulting in less quarrying of raw materials.

MAGC™ can be used in a range of pre-mixed applications such as footpaths, driveways, house-slabs, in-situ pours, etc. Its performance is similar to OPC in many ways, and even exceeds traditional performance specifications such as chemical or salt resistance and fire resistance. Fire resistance testing has shown a 150mm MAGC™ slab has a fire rating well in excess of 4 hours, compared with the typical 2.5 hour rating for a comparable OPC based concrete slab. Like OPC based concrete, MAGC™ is specified as, for example, 25, 32, 40 or 55 MPa.

Placing MAGC™ and the Precast Techniques

With only a few additional requirements, placing MAGC™ is very similar to placing OPC based concrete, which means any conventional concrete crew is able to place MAGC™ without additional training or expensive equipment. Please contact us using the web form if you’d like a copy of the MAGC™ Placement Guidelines.

Environment: The manufacture of one tonne of ordinary Portland Cement produces about 0.9 tonne of CO2. Making cement is responsible for around eight per cent of global man-made carbon emissions! MAGCTM is formulated to reduce the environmental impact of concrete used in everyday construction applications without sacrificing performance. MAGCTM is made using industrial waste, namely fly ash and blast furnace slag, to replace traditional polluting cement with a lower emission alternative. Through this ground breaking technology, MAGCTM precast products more than halve the carbon emissions compared to Portland based precast concrete. MAGC™ binder has been independently verified through a Life Cycle Assessment to produce 80 per cent less CO2 than traditional cement. Strength: MAGCTM is specified in the exact same way as traditional concrete, utilising all of the same requirements. Durability: C2o was founded by internationally renowned experts in cement replacement technologies. With over 100 years of experience in the field and having written hundreds of scientific papers, presentations and books on the topic, C2o Pty Ltd and its partners have done extensive testing of MAGCTM durability over a period spanning 60 years. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so C2o constructed its own batch plant on MAG CTM footings. Quality Control: At C2o, as the global leader in commercialising geopolymer technology, we pride ourselves on the quality of our products. We employ strict quality control procedures to assure the consistency and reliability in each precast product. Products: Similar to conventional concrete, MAGCTM can be used across an extensive range of precast applications. 

 

Columns Fire Rating: Independent Fire tests have proven MAGCTM Precast Panels to be superior to OPC based panels. 

The mutability of carbon and why it Carbon Sequestration through Geopolymer cement just makes sense.

Carbon is the element of life. The human body structure is based on it, and other animal and plant biomass such as leaves and wood consist predominantly of carbon (C). Plants on land and algae in the ocean assimilate it in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere or water, and transform it through photosynthesis into energy-rich molecules such as sugars and starches. Carbon constantly changes its state through the metabolism of organisms and by natural chemical processes. Carbon can be stored in and exchanges between particulate and dissolved inorganic and organic forms and exchanged with the the atmosphere as CO2. The oceans store much more carbon than the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere (plants and animals). Even more carbon, however, is stored in the lithosphere, i.e. the rocks on the planet, including limestones (calcium carbonate, CaCO3).

Geopolymers are inorganic, typically ceramic, alumino-silicate forming long-range, covalently bonded, non-crystalline (amorphous) networks. … Raw materials used in the synthesis of silicon-based polymers are mainly rock-forming minerals of geological origin, hence the name: geopolymer.

A novel geopolymer route to porous carbon: high CO2 adsorption capacity. The nanostructure and morphology of mesoporous carbon obtained from a newly designed porous geopolymer template were characterized by low-voltage high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. The present porous carbon exhibited a large specific surface area and pore volume, resulting in a high CO2 uptake capacity.

A novel geopolymer route to porous carbon: high CO2 adsorption capacity. The nanostructure and morphology of mesoporous carbon obtained from a newly designed porous geopolymer template were characterized by low-voltage high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. The present porous carbon exhibited a large specific surface area and pore volume, resulting in a high CO2 uptake capacity.

1. Introduction

Even though Portland cement is an excellent and vital binder for construction composites but unfortunately, its present production process is highly energy consuming [1] and on the top of that, it emits approximately one tonne of CO2 for the production of each ton of Portland cement [2,3]. Not only that, the process also gulps down confined natural rock resources of limestones as raw material and mineral coals as fuel to obtain the elevated temperatures essential for calcination [3]. All these challenges have compelled world researchers to develop new, user and eco-friendly alternative construction materials with reduced energy and low levels of carbon footprints, which can desirably integrate with profound diverse wastes while keeping the performance of the resulting building materials as high as or even higher than the ordinary Portland cement system [4]. Nowadays, the innovative green Geopolymer technology is eye-catching due to its outstanding performances of Geopolymer construction composites like nine times lesser CO2 emissions, and six-fold lower operational energy consumption [2], preventing the degradation of natural limited resources and providing relief to the global warming dilemma. .

Geopolymers are a novel hope for researchers as they exhibit low carbon footprint, excellent strength, durability, thermal, freeze-thaw, etc., attributes, putting them forward as promising sustainable construction materials  They are inorganic polymers developed by the chemical reaction amid Alumina and Silica-rich precursor and alkali activators through an exothermic process of geopolymerisation at low temperature in an alkaline medium  using lower operational energy.

 

Reinforcing our Geopolyomer Cement. We use  Basalt Rebar

Basalt Rebar is an alternative to steel and fibreglass for concrete reinforcement.

Basalt fibre is a high performance non-metallic fibre made from basalt rock melted at high temperature.

Key Benefits of Basalt rebar:

 

  • High strength and low weight
  • High corrosion resistance
  • High tensile modulus
  • Non-conductive and non magnetic
  • Easy installation

 

Basalt rebar has much higher tensile strength than steel or fibreglass rebar of the same diameter.

Being 8-10 times lighter than steel, Basalt rebar is much easier to install.

Corrosion Resistance

Basalt does not rust or absorb water, so the depth of concrete cover can be reduced, allowing for thinner sections and more flexibility of design.

Basalt rebar is perfect for pervious concrete or applications where concrete is exposed to marine environments or areas affected by road salt. Basalt is naturally resistant to alkalis and will not act as a conduit for moisture.

Tensile Modulus

Since Basalt is so strong in tension and compression, it cannot be bent or formed like steel. If tensile modulus issues arise, modifying the Basalt rebar adding more basalt in finer diameters in tighter grids closer to the surface will overcome any tensile modulus issues. Basalt rebar has the same thermal coefficient of expansion as concrete.

Basalt rebar is easily cut to length with regular tools.

Basalt rebar does not conduct electricity or induce fields when exposed to RF energy, great for MRI or data buildings.

Basalt rebar is perfect for Marine environments and Chemical plants where corrosion is a continuous concern.

Basalt Geo-Grid Mesh

Strengthen concrete with basalt mesh

Basalt Mesh Geo-grid is available in different sizes with epoxy coatings for concrete and asphalt reinforcement.

Basalt Mesh is better than steel for many reasons

  • Stronger than steel wire of comparable size
  • By far lighter and easier to handle and install (no nasty cuts).
  • Will not rust or corrode or cause cracking of concrete
  • Flexible for easier design
  • Basalt does not conduct electricity or induce electric fields
  • Basalt Mesh binds through a chemical reaction with the Geopolyomer Cement

The rebar is ribbed just like actual rebar to provide a mechanical grip with the concrete, but there is also indications that geopolymer concrete binds to the Basalt rebar and micro mesh on a chemical level, something that steel and concrete cannot do. A piece of basalt rebar laid on top of a piece of wet geopolymer and allowed to dry will actually chemically bond to the rebar and make it impossible to remove. So there seems to be a superior bond strength produced between these two materials compared to steel rebar and regular concrete which produces only a mechanical bond.

In using the A4 proportions (1:√2 = .70710) for the shape of the concrete structure, the basic idea of which is that two smaller structures with this proportion exactly equal one larger structure, and so on and so-forth, which allows large and small structures to place and slot and lock together .

E.g.: Say we have one block-sized rectangular structure that is say 300’ x 212’, this is an A4 proportion. If we cut the 300’ dimension in half we make two structures that are 212’ x 150’, and this will also be the exact same proportion. The advantage is scaling, we can scale the block sizes up or down and all the parts will continue to place and lock together slotting in with each other perfectly. 

In 1921, after a long discussion and another intervention by W. Porstmann, the Normenausschuß der deutschen Industrie (NADI, “Standardisation Committee of German Industry”, today Deutsches Institut für Normung or short DIN) published German standard DI Norm 476 the specification of 4 series of paper formats with ratio 1:√2, with series A as the always preferred formats and basis for the other series. All measures are rounded to the nearest millimetre. A0 has a surface area of 1 square metre up to a rounding error, with a width of 841 mm and height of 1189 mm, so an actual area of 0.999949 m2, and A4 recommended as standard paper size for business, administrative and government correspondence and A6 for postcards. Series B is based on B0 with width of 1 metre, C0 is 917 mm × 1297 mm, and D0 771 mm × 1090 mm. Series C is the basis for envelope formats.

This German standardisation work was accompanied by contributions from other countries, and the published DIN paper-format concept was soon introduced as a national standard in many other countries, for example, Belgium (1924), Netherlands (1925), Norway (1926), Switzerland (1929), Sweden (1930), Soviet Union (1934), Hungary (1938), Italy (1939), Finland (1942), Uruguay (1942), Argentina (1943), Brazil (1943), Spain (1947), Austria (1948), Romania (1949), Japan (1951), Denmark (1953), Czechoslovakia (1953), Israel (1954), Portugal (1954), Yugoslavia (1956), India (1957), Poland (1957), United Kingdom (1959), Venezuela (1962), New Zealand (1963), Iceland (1964), Mexico (1965), South Africa (1966), France (1967), Peru (1967), Turkey (1967), Chile (1968), Greece (1970), Zimbabwe (1970), Singapore (1970), Bangladesh (1972), Thailand (1973), Barbados (1973), Australia (1974), Ecuador (1974), Colombia (1975) and Kuwait (1975).

 

It finally became both an international standard (ISO 216) as well as the official United Nations document format in 1975 and it is today used in almost all countries on this planet, with the exception of North America (including Mexico), Peru, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

 

Ten years ago I read this article https://journals.openedition.org/mediterranee/1952 about Roman harbours around the Mediterranean made with an ancient concrete that have survived in continual contact with the sea for over 2,000 years now, without any concrete degradation. Which is surprising because our modern concrete breaks down within about 75 – 100 years of contact with the ocean even in the best circumstances. Geopolymer concrete, a material capable of replicating this feat of engineering by the Roman concrete masters. Geopolymer concrete, like Roman concrete, could last for hundreds of years in contact with the sea but is also as strong as modern concrete. Such a concrete could be an ideal material for long-term ocean structures.

Geopolymer Concrete and the Sea

Most geopolymer concrete research today is driven by applications on land, intended to be a green alternative to Portland cement–not for the material’s seawater-resistant properties. The greatest threat to any concrete structure is water, whether that’s fresh water or seawater.

So great is the threat of water boring into concrete and rusting the steel inside that bridge overpasses in every modern city are built with far, far more concrete than they actually need in terms of strength. They make the concrete thick to forestall water seeping in and rusting the rebar skeleton. The rule is that each inch of additional concrete forestalls water reaching the steel reinforcement and rusting it by another 10 years, and most highway project use an extra 7 inches of concrete, if I recall correctly,  giving them an effective lifespan of 70+ years. By contrast, ferrocement boats typically used a mere 2 inches of concrete.

The situation is grim when seawater is considered, since seawater directly attacks the chemistry of Portland concrete itself, causing much more rapid failure. What causes Portland concrete to fail at sea is the large percentage of calcium-compounds that Portland concrete contains, being about 70% calcium. These calcium compounds come under attack by sulphur-compounds in seawater, which rot the concrete, cause it to lose structural coherence and strength, become soft, soggy, and slough off, exposing the steel reinforcement underneath it, leading to rapid failure. This is why those ferrocement boats tended to fail in a decade. The concrete industry responded with low-calcium Portland variants, but even these might extend the life of a structure to as much as 120 or so years, not hundreds or thousands.

Geopolymer concrete foils this typical degradation scenario by minimizing calcium-compounds in its chemical composition. Our Geopolymer concrete have as little as 2% calcium, resulting in incredible chemical resistance. Using such material it is possible to replicate the feat of the Romans, to create ocean  structures that can last for hundreds or thousands of years at sea without significant maintenance or risk of chemical degradation over time.

It is also a material that is also immune to any and all attacks by plant and animal life that other materials have so much trouble with at sea.

Advantages

Portland concrete must be kept wet as it cures, has to be kept from drying too quickly. Workmen typically cover the newly poured mix and keep it sprayed wet for days. In very large concrete structures this can become a problem, if any part of the structure is allowed to dry significantly faster than the rest of it, it can easily shrink and crack.

One of the great advantages of our geopolymer concrete is that it does not need to be kept wet while it cures, it cures very rapidly, and there is no significant risk of cracking during curing–a major advantage over traditional concrete.

Geopolymer simply does not off gas water and shrinks very little during curing. Instead of shedding water it forms a chemical gel that hardens over time, going through a series of rapid chemical stages, and ultimately forming alumino-silicate polymer chains. 90% of final strength in a warm climate such as the tropics, 85°F for 24 hours . Tropical climates have an innate advantage in using geopolymer, only they have to now worry about the material starting to set up as it is being prepared.