19/09/2019 – News / Environment / Sustainability / Concrete / EP Henry / Solidia Technologies / US
World’s first precast products manufactured with CO2-cured Solidia Concrete
EP Henry’s CO2-cured Solidia Concrete™ pavers made from
low-carbon Solidia Cement™ at the Elsmere, Delaware Fire Company
US firm EP Henry – the leading manufacturer of unit concrete products in North America – in collaboration with cement and concrete tech start-up Solidia Technologies, has introduced the world’s first products made with low-carbon Solidia Concrete. The sustainable products boast up to a 70-per-cent reduced carbon footprint while also saving water, energy and manufacturing time.
Using LafargeHolcim’s Solidia Cement as its base, which requires lower temperatures during production and thereby emits less carbon, Solidia Concrete products are cured with CO2 instead of water, dramatically reducing their overall carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete.
Concrete production – the sustainability challenge
The new low-carbon concrete product launch from EP Henry is timely as reducing the environmental impact of cement and concrete is seen as one of the major technical challenges the industrial world faces today. Global demand for cement and concrete is growing exponentially – and in terms of resources is second only to the demand for water. Cement and concrete production methods have largely remained unchanged since the 19th century, and the industry still has a considerable environmental footprint – in terms of CO2 emissions, energy use and water use alike.
For every ton of cement produced, one ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere, making the concrete industry responsible for five to seven per cent of total global carbon emissions and also up to half of industrial energy use in emerging nations. On top of that, an estimated three trillion litres of fresh water are used for concrete production every year.
Shifting the landscape of the concrete industry
In its attempt to tackle such significant sustainability challenges, EP Henry’s President Eric Long says that his company’s new partnership with Solidia Technologies, will “shift the landscape of the concrete industry”.
Since 2013, the firms have collaborated to integrate the systems into EP Henry’s Wrightstown, New Jersey manufacturing facility. “As the trusted leader in concrete, renowned for driving both market and product innovation, EP Henry was our first choice as the global launch partner for Solidia Cement,” said Solidia Technologies President and CEO Tom Schuler. “We are so grateful that, by sharing their unmatched market knowledge and deep expertise in product and service innovation, EP Henry has helped us make sustainability smart business for cement and concrete.”
Solidia Concrete Vs. traditional Portland cement products
Through their combined research and development efforts, the firms demonstrated the many benefits of Solidia Concrete over traditional ordinary Portland cement-based products, including enhanced colour vibrancy, the near elimination of primary efflorescence, improved durability, and a greater resistance to de-icing salts. Notably, the products also gain full strength in just 24 hours compared to the 28 days required for traditional steam-cured concrete.
“That Solidia Concrete eliminates efflorescence was my first motivation to explore it,” explained Mr Long, referring to the whitish deposits common to newer concrete and masonry products. “We have discovered many additional benefits, and we have been pleased with the enthusiastic reception we have received from installers and consumers, who love the product benefits, and that their hardscaping projects are helping protect the environment.”
EP Henry’s new pavers and blocks gain their performance advantages as a result of Solidia’s new chemistry, which can be produced at traditional precast concrete manufacturing facilities using standard equipment but with a conversion of curing kilns to CO2. In addition to offering product enhancements, Solidia’s patented processes offer manufacturers considerable energy savings and cost reductions and just-in-time production capabilities, significantly reducing inventory storage requirements. Solidia Concrete products can also be recycled before curing, significantly reducing manufacturing waste.
Better for customers, better for the planet
Today, EP Henry products made with Solidia Concrete are being installed in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US. The company is expanding its range of Solidia Concrete product offerings. It plans to convert 50 per cent of the Wrightstown facility to Solidia Concrete production this year, with a full conversion planned for the future. As a result of its conversion to Solidia’s CO2 curing process, within one year, EP Henry will be the largest consumer of CO2 in New Jersey.
“For over 115 years and four generations, our family has sought to make the best quality product for our customers,” said EP Henry’s fourth-generation CEO JC Henry. “Now, with Solidia, we’re making concrete products that are not only better for our customers, but also better for the planet. I have seen the future, and it is Solidia.”
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