Reducing CO2 emissions from cementitious materials

EPFL Professor Karen Scrivener, Head of the Laboratory of Construction Materials, will give the talk "Reducing CO2 emissions from cementitious materials" on 4 March 2020 at the Smart Living Lab, Fribourg. An invitation of the "Argamassa Armada: Structural Elements in Textile Reinforced Concrete" teaching unit, organized by the Laboratories ALICE / IBETON within the "Design Together" ENAC program.

In this presentation, Karen Scrivener will explain what are the practical solutions for reducing CO2 emissions from the production of cementitious materials. In particular she will present LC3 - Low Carbon Cement, a radical new technology which can reduce emissions by up to 40% compared to existing solutions. This technology has a global potential to reduce emissions by more than 10 times the emissions of the whole of Switzerland.

Given the climate emergency we are facing, it is important to implement all means of reducing CO2 emissions as fast as possible. Cement and concrete are often “demonised” due to the fact that they are responsible for some 7-8% of man-made CO2 emissions.  However, they are materials with lower environmental impact than all practical alternatives and this high amount of CO2 is due to the enormous quantities produced: 4 billion tons of cement, used in some 40 billion tons of cementitious materials which is more than half of everything we produce.

Nevertheless, there are still many ways in which the environmental impact of cement and concrete can be further reduced. In considering these, it is important to recognize solutions, which are practical and can be applied in emerging and developing countries, where more than 90% is cement. In addition, it is important to work through the value chain, at the level of cement, the level of concrete and the level of structures. If solutions available today were implemented to their full extent, it is estimated that reductions of up to 80% could be possible.

Invited Talk | Karen Scrivener, Material Chemist Fribourg | 14:00



Karen Scrivener obtained her PhD at Imperial College London in 1984. She worked for Lafarge in France for 6 years, before being appointed Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Construction Materials, at EPFL in 2001. Her research focusses on the understanding of the chemistry and microstructure of cement based materials and improving their sustainability. She was editor in Chief of the leading academic journal “Cement and Concrete Research” for 15 years and was made a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.


Design Together Program
ALICE Laboratory
Structural Concrete Laboratory IBETON
Argamassa Armada Teaching Unit
LC3 - Low Carbon Cement