Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Material Science Engineering (MSMatSE)

First Advisor

Will V. Srubar III

Second Advisor

Gregor Henze

Third Advisor

Yunping Xi

Abstract

This study concerns the development of a simple mathematical model that calculates the theoretical carbon sequestration potential of exposed ordinary portland cement (OPC) concrete. OPC concrete sequesters non-trivial amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) via carbonation – a chemical reaction between cement paste and atmospheric CO2. Formulated by the reaction chemistries of cement hydration and carbonation, the model accounts for cement type and content, exposure, time, and type and quantity of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). Once validated with data from literature, the model is implemented to investigate the effect of these factors and the influence of compressive strength and geometry, namely surface-area-to-volume (SA/V) ratio, on total carbon sequestration (kg CO2) of exposed concrete elements. Results demonstrate that (a) low tetracalcium aluminoferrite (C4AF) cements, (b) compressive strength, (c) high CO2 exposure, (d) no SCMs, (e) time, (f) high SA/V ratios, and (g) indoor environments enhance the in situ carbon sequestration of exposed OPC concrete.

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