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Circular society: Industrial byproducts in cement and concrete

The Swedish construction industry is facing large technological challenges in the years to come. This is linked to the climate footprint of our built environment and we need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions as well as lower the exploitation of natural recourses. One strategy to achieve this is to replace clinker in cement or cement in concrete by supplementary cementitious materials (SCM), which consist usually of industrial by- or waste products.

Blast furnace slag

To use supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) is one avenue to lower the climate impact of cement-based construction materials and increase the circularity of material flows in order to save resources. In Sweden, the use of binders with granulated blast furnace slag or low calcium fly ash from coal combustion is now more and more common. However, often there is still a lack of best practice in how to use SCM, about their impact on concrete properties and their effects on the concrete durability. If you need to know:

  • which SCM to use in concrete and how they can be combined
  • how SCM effect the concrete properties (fresh properties, performance, durability)
  • how SCM react in a cement-based system
  • which impact SCM have on sustainability,

we can provide knowledge and experience on the topics above, based on our research results.

Furthermore, if you have a material, which you think could be used as an SCM in concrete (e.g. bio ashes, mining residues) but are not completely sure, we have the competence and knowledge to investigate its usability and to judge its applicability in a larger industrial scale.

More information

Did you know that

  • ground granulated blast furnace slag (ggbfs) has been added to a cement the first time in 1882?
  • cements with 66 to 95 % of ggbfs are already as standardized product on the European market (in form of CEM III/B and CEM III/C)?
  • industrial byproducts such as ggbfs and fly ash are limited in availability and other cement replacement materials such as activated clay or bio ashes are becoming more interesting?

Further reading

U. Mueller, M. Lundgren, A. Babaahmadi, Hydration of concrete binders blended with ground granulated blast furnace slag, fly ash and metakaolin, CBI Report 2017-6, Borås, Sweden, 2017.

M. Lundgren, A. Babaahmadi, U. Mueller, On the porosity development in cement pastes containing slag: influence of curing conditions and the effect of carbonation, in: XXIII Concr. Res. Symp., 2017.

U. Mueller, M. Lundgren, K. Malaga, Development of pore structure and hydrate phases of binder pastes blended with slag, fly ash and metakaolin – A comparison, in: 14th Int. Concress Chem. Cem., 2015.

Contact person

Urs Mueller


+46 10 516 68 49

Read more about Urs