Sustainability and resource efficiency are key topics in the concrete industry, also since cement industry is responsible for about 5% of the global carbon emissions and concrete production uses large amounts of water and aggregates.

From Sugar Cane to Concrete

Sustainable solutions for concrete
Image: Sugar cane waste is the basis for the production of the polymers used in the new bio-based Sika® ViscoCrete®

CONCRETE SUPERPLASTICIZER SIKA® VISCOCRETE® ON RENEWABLE RAW MATERIAL BASIS

Bio-based Sika® Viscocrete® contains polymers produced mainly with renewable raw materials, being the first of its kind in the construction industry. Polymers, the main component in superplasticizers, are added to concrete to influence properties such as workability, setting time and durability in a favorable way, depending on the desired application. This eco-friendly innovation is in line with one of Sika's stated corporate goals of sustainable product development.

RENEWABLE VEGETABLE SUBSTANCES IN PLACE OF OIL-BASED RAW MATERIALS

The key components of standard concrete admixtures are polymeric components chemically produced from oil-based raw materials. In the product, over 80 percent of the oil-based raw materials have been replaced by renewable vegetable substances left as waste from sugar production. In addition to the ecological benefits, bio-based ViscoCrete® also enhances concrete properties, including a substantial water reduction and robust behavior in fresh concrete.

CO2 EMISSIONS OF CONCRETE DOWN BY 20 PERCENT THROUGH USE OF CONCRETE ADMIXTURES

Even if concrete admixtures make up only a low 2-6 kg per cubic meter of concrete, they play a vital part in enhancing the concrete's sustainability. Superplasticizers can reduce the overall binder content in concrete as well as the water component, while maintaining the product features. In addition, the clinker content in cement can be decreased by using alternative cementitious materials. This brings down the energy consumption and carbon footprint of concrete by more than 20 percent over its complete life cycle.

To highlight these positive environmental aspects, Sika has developed the Sika® MixDesign Calculation®, a calculation program that compares different formulations according to their ecological benefits. Sika's goal is to provide customers with a comprehensive range of bio-based superplasticizers and to continue increasing the proportion of renewable raw materials in its products.

Sugar cane waste is the basis for the production of the polymers used in the new bio-based Sika® ViscoCrete®.¨