The most critical issue facing the World is the Climate Emergency and one of the many urgent requirements is the shift from fossil to renewable energy. Offshore wind is an important contributor to the current energy mix and will expand extensively worldwide over the next few decades. There is, therefore, a need to have economic solutions for the placement of wind turbines in deeper water where monopiles are not suitable. These will require floating bases in various geometries, with concrete offering several advantages for the application. However, to facilitate this the concrete supply chain requires very large volume, locally produced, low carbon cements, that provide both low heat of hydration and durability in marine environments.
The overall aim of this Project is, therefore, to formulate new generation, low carbon marine concrete using calcined clay-based cement from waste clays and stockpile fly ashes from former coal-fired power station deposits. The Project will review the physico-chemical characteristics of calcined clays and recovered stockpile fly ashes that underpin the understanding of rheology/pumping, reactivity, microstructure development, pore fluid chemistry, passivity of reinforcement and service life modelling. Advanced and accelerated testing will be applied to determine chloride diffusion/binding thermodynamics through control over the AFm/Aft ratio and cracking, including the effects of high applied moment dynamics in the marine environment. It is envisaged that intelligence will be developed that will lead the sector towards making key decisions for a circular economy.
The project will combine expertise from the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh. The other project partners include, Energy Technology Partnership, Mineral Products Association (MPA), Arup, and BlueFloat Energy. There will be access to extensive research facilities between the two universities. Professional and transferable skills training will be available, with dedicated modules run within the School of Science and Engineering (Univ. of Dundee).