February 22, 2019

Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete for California’s Infrastructure Projects

Time

1:40pm - 3:00pm

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Sabbie A. Miller, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Davis

Abstract

Critical to lowering the environmental impacts from the built environment is reengineering cement. California is the second largest producer and consumer of cement for use in concrete and mortar in the United States. The high production levels of cement and concrete has sparked global concern as they are leading to ~8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, ~3% of global energy demand, and ~9% of global industrial water consumption. With approximately 90% of the cement used going to building and infrastructure projects, understanding how we can re-engineer this material from the nano-scale to the macro-scale is essential to mitigate environmental impacts from its production.

In this talk, the reasons for high consumption of cement and concrete will be presented as will an explanation for why reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their production has proven to be difficult. Potential mitigation strategies that apply to California, will also be presented, as will implications of changes in cement and concrete at a global scale.

Biographical Sketch

Professor Miller’s research focuses on lowering the environmental impacts of the built environment. She is developing of methods for improving materials design procedures to concurrently assess environmental impact and material performance by linking concepts from structural engineering, materials engineering, and life-cycle assessment. Application of these methods allows strategic execution of composite design measures and constituent selection techniques in the design of infrastructure materials

Professor Miller is a contributing member in the United Nations Environmental Programme SBCI Working Group on Low-Carbon Cement Initiative, an international collaboration of scientists developing a report that examines methods for reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with concrete production and provides recommendations for mitigation globally. Additionally, Dr. Miller serves on two national committees of the American Concrete Institute that develop concrete related building codes. The two committees are (a) Materials Science, which develops reports and supports exchange of information related to advancements in material use, characterization, and modeling efforts in concrete, and (b) Sustainability, which develops reports and supports exchange of information related to environmental impact characterization and methods for reducing impacts associated with concrete production, use, and disposal.