Towards a Carbon-Neutral Future: Innovations in Decarbonizing Building Materials for Sustainable Cities


WHEN April 29, 2024
5:30-8 PM WHERE NYUAD Research Institute (A6), startAD Room, 015 WHO Center for Interacting Urban Networks (CITIES) Open to the Public

The urgency of mitigating climate change demands a profound transformation in the construction industry, particularly in urban areas where buildings are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. This talk delves into the pivotal role of decarbonizing building materials in achieving net-zero emissions in cities. Drawing from recent advancements, we explore innovative approaches to develop and characterize sustainable construction materials as alternatives to conventional Portland cement. Our investigation spans from the utilization of limestone calcined clay cement (LC 3 ) to the synthesis and application of brucite derived from desalination reject brine. LC 3 presents a promising low-carbon alternative, showcasing performance enhancement, and favorable characteristics compared to traditional cement. Additionally, the direct carbonation of brucite emerges as a transformative process, not only enhancing mechanical properties but also facilitating CO2 sequestration. Moreover, we conduct a comprehensive life cycle analysis (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impact of brucite production, emphasizing its superiority over synthetic magnesium oxide (MgO) from reject brine. Our findings underscore the environmental benefits of utilizing brucite in construction, particularly in regions like the United Arab Emirates, where desalination rejects brine is abundantly available. By synthesizing cutting-edge research on decarbonizing building materials, this talk advocates for a paradigm shift toward sustainable urban development. Through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, we pave the way for a carbon-neutral future, fostering resilient and environmentally responsible cities.

Speaker Bio

Kemal Celik is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi and holds an appointment with New York University, Tandon School of Engineering, as a Global Network Assistant Professor. Professor Celik is the director of the Advanced Materials and Building Efficiency Research Laboratory (AMBER Lab) at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). He received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, with a major in Structural Engineering, Mechanics & Materials and two minors in Geoengineering and Material Science & Engineering. He holds MS and BS degrees in Civil Engineering from Istanbul University.

Part of the CITIES Lecture Series.

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