Coppe has patented the use of sugarcane bagasse ashes, a residue from the production of sugar and alcohol, as a partial substitute for cement. The results of the tests show that it is possible to mix 10% of ashes with the cement and have a small improvement in the quality in comparison to the conventional cement. It is possible to mix up to 20% and preserve the quality of the original product.
Every kilogram of cement produced is equivalent to one kilo of CO2 released in the atmosphere. The cement industry itself is responsible for 5% to 7% of the global emissions of CO2, the main greenhouse gas. Concrete, which is made of cement, is the most used construction material in the world. Together with steel, it is employed in big structures. The addition of natural and renewable materials reduces its contribution to global warming.
Brazil is the largest producer of sugarcane in the world, with 500 million tons/year, and an estimated production of 400 thousand tons/year of sugarcane bagasse ashes. It is the country most economically viable to use this residue in the production of cement.