LC3 Technology Research Center

The overall objective is to combat climate change with the introduction of a “greener” cement in Latin America, through technical advice to producers and the creation of mechanisms for economically successful production.

LC3 Low Carbon Cement
LC3 is an innovative blended Portland cement that includes addition of calcined kaolinite clay and a further 15% of limestone. Clays and limestone are widely available throughout the world, there are abundant reserves. Activated clays and limestone have a synergetic reaction in presence of Portland cement which enables substitution of up to 50% of clinker, the traditional raw material for cement.

There is no reduction in mechanical performance for LC3 cement. Production of LC3 is less costly and it emits 25-40% less carbon during manufacture. This technology has the potential of reducing around 500 M tonnes CO2 per year.

An international team in Switzerland, Cuba and India is guiding the implementation of the technology with the cement industry. It has successfully moved from the laboratory to trial productions in cement factories and applications in construction. Extensive testing of specimen placed for years under extreme conditions has proven positive.

The LC3 Technology Resource Centre for Latin America
The LC3-TRC has been established in Cuba to act as interface between industry an academy for a swift introduction of the new developments in the area of LC3 in the Latin American Region. It is the provider of green solutions to medium and large-scale enterprises in construction sector based in all scientific knowledge and acquired practical experience. The TRC formalises the results of twenty years of research and practical application together with cement companies. It counts on a well prepared staff and complete laboratory facilities at the base in the “Universidad Central de Las Villas”, which includes a state of the art production facility with an output of up to 12 tons per day. The TRC has close ties to the Swiss “Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne” and forms part of its research program funded by the Swiss Development Corporation.

In the last years extensive tests have been conducted parallel to the scientific investigation and several structures built in India and in Cuba. In Cuba there is also a testing site to study long-term durability in a place on the sea shore, where the concrete blocks made with LC3 are undergoing harsh treatment. The results after five years are excellent, generally the “green” concrete is more durable than the “normal” concrete.

Dissemination of the Technology worldwide
Some large Latin American cement companies have contracted the TRC to study their raw materials and the economic feasibility to produce LC3 and in four countries the start of commercial production is in preparation. However, this only covers a small part of the potential to reduce the ecological footprint of cement on the continent. The vision of the TRC is to provide practical answers to the growing need for solutions to mitigate the climate change with the most advanced proven technologies.

Recently the Centre also was contracted by African Cement companies to study their potential to produce LC3 and its impact is fast growing as the world is pressuring the industry to lower its emission of CO2.

The TRC directs its activities to the cement production companies, large ones as well as medium and small producers. First commercial production is expected for 2020 in two companies in Latin America and Africa.

The program develops with creative financing based on Public-Private Partnership. The TRC has invested in laboratories and a state of the art small production facility and in educating and training personnel. Interested cement companies contract the TRC and pay for the direct cost of the raw material examination and formulation of potential raw material mixes.

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