The circular economy

What is the role of concrete in the circular economy?

  • Raw materials: Did you know that the raw materials such as limestone for cement and aggregates for concrete are abundantly available in Ireland? This is important, as we are not extracting and using scarce raw materials.

  • The cement manufacturing process: It probably comes as no surprise to hear that coal and petcoke is used in cement kilns. But what you may be less aware of is the fact that the cement industry is now able to replace part of these traditional fuels with fuels and biomass derived from waste. Not only does this form of energy recovery reduce dependence on fossil fuels, it is also possible to recycle the ash back within the manufacturing process.

  • Concrete: Concrete is made up of cement, water and aggregates (gravel, crushed stone, sand, recycled concrete). Concrete is 100% recyclable and can be recycled into concrete or into other applications (e.g. road base). Another interesting fact is that concrete is such a durable material that structures can last for decades, or even centuries! Therefore concrete is part of the “circular economy”.