Cement, the second most consumed product globally after water, contributes between 6 and 8% of CO2 emissions. By 2050, cement production is anticipated to increase by 12-23% largely driven by the Global South where rapid urbanization is taking place. This growth highlights the importance of decarbonizing cement production as a key strategy for mitigating climate change.
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Addressing this, the DETOCS project targets decarbonizing cement production through technical and non-technical means while enhancing the incorporation of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) using digitalization and predictive modelling tools. This allows for the production of greener cement without compromising the integrity of the structures in which they are used. Likewise, DETOCS looks into the non-technical impacts and factors linked to the widespread adoption and integration of such sustainable solutions, i.e., greener types of cement in the construction industry.
DETOCS has been granted approximately €3.3M by the European Union to fund doctoral projects hosted by industry and academies under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions scheme. The consortium led by FLSmidth, includes the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Cementos Argos, C2CA Technology B.V., Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Environmental Coalition on Standards, ETH Zürich, Imperial College London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ParticleTech ApS, RWTH Aachen, Statwolf, TU Delft, University of Padova, Mannok Cement, University of Aberdeen, and Université Grenoble Alpes. While Breakthrough Energy, the German Cement Association, Kline Consulting, and Kompas Venture Capital are the external advisory board.
Within DETOCS, each doctoral project will address various aspects of decarbonisation within the cement and concrete industry. Among these, IHS will carry out comprehensive research through a doctoral project surrounding the dynamics of the adoption of low-carbon cement blends to uncover non-technical barriers (e.g., economic, regulatory, firm-level) and potential solutions for the widespread adoption of greener cements along the concrete value chain. The project will fall under the IHS Economics and Governance department, which looks, among other aspects, into the interplay of economics and governance in guiding more sustainable development pathways. Moreover, the industrial partner of this doctoral project is the Brussels-based NGO, Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS), which looks into the policy- and standard-related aspects of eco-innovation.
Dr Beatriz Calzada Olvera
Specialist in Economics and Innovation
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Beatriz Calzada Olvera is currently an economics researcher and lecturer at IHS. Her research currently focuses on innovation, development economics, (local) economic growth, extractive industries, trade, global value chains, inequality, and resilience. She is also interested in economic geography and (economic) complexity issues.