05 February 2024

US DOE Awards Funding for Decarbonization Projects

Buzzi Unicem USA and Lehigh University awarded grant from US DoE to develop a decarbonization project, involving the use of calcined clays in cement


Bethlehem, PA February 5, 2024 - Lehigh University and Buzzi Unicem USA announced today that they have been awarded a $2 million grant from the US Department of Energy Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) to develop a project regarding low-carbon non-ordinary Portland cements that can decarbonize industries by advancing low-temperature calcined clays. The calcined clays will be used as an alternative concrete binder, achieving durability with clay beneficiation. Calcined clays offer a promising low CO2 supplementary cementitious material with a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional cement. The initial project started in early 2023.

The grant fits in with the recently announced $171 million in funding for 49 projects, promoted by the US Department of Energy Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO), to reduce industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and accelerate the development of innovative decarbonization technologies.

Dr. John Fox, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, leads the research project team for Lehigh University. The team also includes Dr. Clay Naito, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Dr. Carlos Romero, Director and Principal Research Scientist of the Energy Research Center; and Dr. Paolo Bocchini, Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Dr. Bocchini remarked, “Buzzi Unicem USA has been instrumental to this project by providing the initial funding and the impetus for this line of research. The grant from DoE will allow us to take the research to the next level. This project is the ideal model for industry-university collaborations.”

“We have established a roadmap that demonstrates our commitment to becoming carbon neutral, in line with the decarbonization strategy of the Buzzi group, envisaged in “Our Journey to Net Zero'”, adds Massimo Toso, President & CEO Buzzi Unicem USA. “It’s a significant effort for the company and we are therefore proud of this award which rewards the dedication of the teams involved. Looking to the future, the business intends to roll out several more projects designed to further its sustainability strategy”.