According to recent publications, a new cement alternative, Ferrock, offers a stronger and greener alternative to standard cement manufacturing methods. Ferrock was developed by a former University of Arizona PhD student, David Stone.
Creating cement using the traditional technique produces a significant amount of carbon emission between fuel burning to run the cement mixers and the chemical process that produces the cement. The global cement production is around 4 billion tons each year and for every ton of cement, almost the same amount of carbon dioxide is produced.
Ferrock is an iron-rich, ferrous, rocky substance that is created from steel dust, which is produced as waste from industrial processes. The steel dust reacts with carbon dioxide and rusts, which creates an iron carbonate matrix to form within Ferrock while it dries. Due to this, Ferrock is more like concrete than cement, in the sense that there is no way to reverse the process. Ferrock is touted as being both sturdier and more flexible than Portland cement, the typical material used in construction. It is claimed to be capable of withstanding more compression while maintaining the ability to bend and flex more than Portland cement.
David Stone has created the company, Iron Shell, to move forward with the new Ferrock technology. It is uncertain how much carbon Ferrock absorbs, but Stone says that it absorbs more carbon than is needed to create it overall.