Publish Date: February 28, 2024

LC3-TRC Africa Project Mentored by IIT Delhi Researchers Inaugurated at Kenya’s Meru University of Science and Technology

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New Delhi: Researchers at IIT Delhi have been playing a leading role in bringing Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3), a more sustainable cement with higher performance, to the market in India and internationally. As a part of its commitment to global scientific outreach, an LC3-Technology Resource Centre (TRC) Africa Project at Kenya’s Meru University of Science and Technology has been set up under the mentorship of IIT Delhi.

The project was jointly inaugurated by IIT Delhi’s Prof. Shashank Bishnoi and Prof. Karen Scrivener, EPFL, Switzerland, on February 14, 2024. 

The LC3-TRC Africa is an important addition, as it will help in the sustainable development of Africa and build capacity in the area of cement research there. The LC3-TRC Africa will strive to facilitate the adoption of LC3 technology within the construction sector across Sub-Saharan Africa by fostering collaboration among industry holders, innovators, and policymakers. It will also offer consulting services and support for LC3 usage.

To cater to the demand to provide knowledge and information in African countries, IIT Delhi has collaborated with Meru University to open a laboratory to support the African cement and construction industry. “Along with supporting the need for the global cement industry to grow in a sustainable manner, LC3 promises to make cement more affordable for development in Africa,” Prof. Shashank Bishnoi said.

LC3 is a family of composite cements containing clinker, calcined clay, and limestone that was developed at EPFL, Switzerland, in collaboration with UCLV Cuba. Researchers at IIT Delhi, led by Prof. Shashank Bishnoi from the Civil Engineering Department, contributed the largest volume of research that has brought cement from the laboratory to the market.

In India, research on LC3 started in 2012, and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) published the standard for LC3 (IS18189) in June 2023 to make the technology ready to be used by the cement industry in the country. BIS allows the production of LC3 with 50% clinker, the remaining being calcined clay (usually around 30%) and crushed limestone (usually around 15%).

The LC3 technology promises sustainable growth for economies around the world by reducing CO2 emissions by more than 40% compared to plain Portland cement at lower production costs. LC3 is strong, durable, and can be used in the same manner as other cements.

Due to the lower clinker content, the LC3 technology has following advantages over Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and Portland Pozzolanic Cement (PPC):

a) Improved resource efficiency

b) Lower CO2 emission per tonne of cement produced

c) Reduced production cost without compromising the performance of the cement

d) Easy processing and supported by existing production facilities hence low capital investment costs

e) Almost double the cement output per tonne of clinker

f) Enhanced durability of building materials and concrete produced using LC3