Transforming the construction market with a low-carbon alternative

Global cement use is estimated to produce 4 billion tonnes of CO2 every year making it one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters. A team of young entrepreneurs from India have developed a low-carbon alternative that could transform the global construction market.

Cement is one of the most widely used substances on the planet, only second to water, and produces 8% of global carbon emissions.

The climate impact of cement is hard to digest however for a group of five young people from India this was a challenge they wanted to use their STEM skills to address. They've built a social business that they hope will provide a viable alternative to cement.

Through research, product development and testing, Terracarb have developed a water-based Graphene Admixture that could reduce the use of cement by up to 25% and therefore reduce cement-produced emissions. This saving could reduce global carbon emissions by 2% and play a vital role in our journey to net zero.

As part of the Global Innovation Challenge, Terracarb have had access to learning events, an incubator programme and SThree business advisors who have supported them build their concept and competition pitch.

Terracarb logo

Pavithra Gunasekaran from the Terracarb team said: “STEM is how you connect the dots to solve climate change. STEM builds the bridge between environmental impact and technology. Our consumption is exponentials, and we need technology that closes the loop, that can reduce the use of  limited resources in the world.”

Technical Detail

Terracarb have developed a water-based Graphene Admixture (Terraphene) for concrete. This could be blended readily with conventional concrete (OPC/PPC) to reduce the use of cement by up to 25% without compromising the quality of the concrete. According to their findings, the reduction in the use of cement by up to 25% can help in the reduction of up to 25% of CO2 emissions. Therefore, saving up to 25% of cement can decrease the global carbon emissions by 2%.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
12: Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action