Cement 2 Zero, a UK-based demonstrator project to trial the world’s first zero-emissions cement on an industrial scale, was officially launched last week, having successfully conducted the first in a series of pilot-scale melts. The innovative project, which secured GBP 6.5million of Government funding from UKRI as part of the Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge, aims to further advance the construction, cement and steel sectors’ decarbonisation journey to net zero industries of the future, to help meet the UK Government’s commitment of achieving Net Zero by 2050. Led by the Materials Processing Institute, supported by the University of Cambridge, and in collaboration with key players in the supply chain, Cement 2 Zero is the first collaborative trial of its kind to address the global construction industry’s biggest challenge of decarbonisation, in response to the climate emergency.Concrete is the most widely used material on earth, after water, and it is fundamental to our way of life, our economy and shaping our world. However, the chemical and thermal combustion processes involved in the production of cement are a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions – with more than four billion tonnes of cement produced each year, accounting for around seven per cent of global CO2 emissions, according to the Global Cement and Concrete Association. Concrete and cement account for 1.5% of UK carbon dioxide emissions, states the Mineral Products Association and National Air Emissions Inventory. The Cement 2 Zero project will investigate both the technical and commercial aspects of upscaling Cambridge Electric Cement production to produce 20 tonnes of the world’s first zero-emissions cement. The first phase of trial melts is being carried out by the Materials Processing Institute, initially in a 250kg induction furnace, before being scaled up to 6T in an Electric Arc Furnace. Once the process has been substantially trialled, developed and de-risked effectively, industrial-scale melts will follow in CELSA’s EAF in Cardiff.The two-year industrial trial will test each stage of the production process and brings together the expertise of the Materials Processing Institute, the University of Cambridge and key supply chain partners – Atkins, Balfour Beatty, CELSA, Day Aggregates and Tarmac – before using the innovative product in a live UK construction project. If successful, it could not only further advance the cement, steel and construction industries but influence how we recycle, construct and maintain our built environment and transport infrastructure, shaping the future of towns and cities whilst simultaneously boosting economic development and, most importantly, reducing CO2 emissions to help tackle global warming.