Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Cement Free Binder Concrete(16023)

Clarkson University


Cement used by the concrete industry is very energy intensive to produce. Much research has been undertaken to reduce the environmental impact of concrete materials through the use of partial cement replacement materials such as fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag, silica fume, fine glass powder etc. that are waste or by-product materials from other industrial processes. The logical next step in this progression is to develop a cement free binder for concrete that contains absolutely no cement. Clarkson University has conducted very preliminary research that suggests that concrete could be produced by completely replacing the cement with ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS). GGBFS is a waste by-product from the steel producing industry. Clarkson has teamed with Holcim US, a cement and GGBFS producer in NY.

Map Error

Project Description

Clarkson University will investigate the influence and effectiveness of two different activating agents with GGBFS for creating a binding material with strength comparable to ordinary Portland cement concrete. The impact of the processing, concrete conditions (such as GGBFS content), activating agent concentration and dosage, and curing temperature on the physical, mechanical, and durability characteristics will be evaluated. The project results will be disseminated to ready mix and precast concrete producers through technical documents, presentations in conferences and symposia, and websites.


Clarkson University estimates the energy and environmental impacts for replacing cement with GGBFS at Holcim US Catskill cement plant could result in a 746,900 metric ton reduction of CO2 emissions and a savings of 168,000 MWh.

Project Results


Clarkson University
Attn: Comptroller's Office Po Box 5546
Potsdam, NY 13699

Principle Investigator

Dr. Narayanan Neithalath

Universities Involved

Clarkson University


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Building Systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 6/9/2010 1
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 16023

Last Updated: 9/19/2012