The purpose of the current proposal is to investigate the production of novel, eco-friendly cement clinkers, with equivalent or improved service (performance) properties compared to the conventional Portland (OPC). This will be achieved by the development of clinker phases that are formed at lower temperatures than the conventional ones and furthermore with the incorporation of lower amounts CaCO3. Towards this direction, the design, production and hydration mechanism of belite-rich cement clinker (BC) and sulfoaluminate belite-rich cement clinker (SABC), will be studied. The qualitative mineralogical composition of BC is similar to OPC, but the main difference lies at the higher proportion of belite (C2S) and lower alite (C3S). The development and study of BC will be focused on the reinforcement of early strengths by the stabilisation/activation of hydraulic belite structures through the incorporation of appropriate oxides (B2O3, SO3, K2O, P2O5, Na2O, and other). In the case of SABC, the development of a cement clinker with main mineralogical phases C2S, C4A3S and C2AxF(1-x), will be investigated.
Production of the aforementioned alternative clinker phases results in considerably lower CO2 emissions and energy consumption. In the frame of applied research for industrial scale production of cement, simulation modelling of the kiln process (firing temperature and time, phase changes etc.) for BC and SABC, will be carried out. This is essential for the prediction of the high temperature phases in relation with mineralogy of raw materials and firing conditions at the scale up level. Additionally, a comprehensive assessment on valorisation opportunities of selected solid by-products (metallurgical electric arc furnace slag, red mud, fly ash, etc.) as alternative raw materials for clinker production will be carried out. The utilisation of these byproducts in the production of clinker implies a further reduction of emitted CO2.