Ash Improvement Technology Inc (AIT) and Sika AG of Switzerland announced that they entered a Strategic Alliance to develop products that help reduce the CO2 emissions related to the production of cement. As part of the agreement, Sika has also made an investment to take an equity stake in AIT.

Sustainable Cement and Concrete

With a world production of about 3.3 billion tons, cement is primarily used as an ingredient in concrete, the world’s most widely used construction material. However, the manufacturing process of cement releases CO2 into the atmosphere, at a rate of 850 kg of CO2 for each ton of cement produced, thereby accounting for a total of 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions. The sizable impact cement has on our environment has prompted a number of companies to seek new ways for more sustainable alternatives.

CleanCem™ Process

“Construction markets worldwide are demanding innovation for more environmentally sustainable cement and concrete. Sika is committed to deliver the best technology to the market to help our customers produce a more sustainable product,” says Philippe Jost, Senior Vice President Concrete Producers at Sika, “Technologies such as AIT’s CleanCem™ process are an inherent part of Sika’s strategy towards the future of our industry.”

Conversion of coal ash

AIT has conceived the CleanCem™ method to convert coal ash, a waste material, into a high value substitute for cement. Coal is the main source of power in some of the world’s largest economies, such as China, India and the US. Most of the 1 billion tons of coal ash generated every year is disposed of in landfills.

Cement production

“Coal ash is a perfect material to substitute clinker, hence reducing CO2 emissions inherent to cement production, and the environmental toll of large ash disposal sites,” says Marc Zacharias, President and CEO of AIT. AIT’s proprietary technology treats coal ash while it is formed within the power plant. The result is an end product that unlike many of the other alternatives is highly cost-effective, and offers flexibility in production that allows for performance levels tailored to a number of end use applications.

Strong partnership

“Sika’s innovative strength and wide footprint throughout the globe will help AIT to accelerate the implementation of our technology and to satisfy the pressing demand we are seeing in multiple markets around the world,” adds Zacharias.