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NIST Metrology for Carbon Dioxide Removal and Carbon Sequestration in Building Materials
by Dr. Pamela Chu, Dr. Craig Brown


NIST is leveraging unique capabilities and expertise in sorption science and materials characterization to develop the critical metrologies needed for scalable carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and carbon sequestration in building materials. A concerted effort across NIST laboratories is characterizing solid sorbents and membrane materials to establish a comprehensive understanding of the properties, structure-function relationships, and cycle durability to enable discovery and optimization of materials for scalable direct air capture. Measurements at multi-length scales including pore dimensions, binding and diffusion dynamics, adsorption isotherms, and dynamic column breakthrough, coupled with theory and simulations are being used to study the preferential carbon dioxide (CO2) adsorptive capacities of porous inorganic, metal-organic, and porous polymer-based media, under real-world conditions. To help quantify the CO2 sequestered in new building materials, NIST is working with stakeholders to develop independently validated, field-deployable, standard test methods and reference materials to quantify carbon and carbonate contents in cement, concrete, and other construction materials. To maximize impact, NIST is building collaborations with other government agencies, industry, and academia. For example, a Low Carbon Cements and Concretes research consortium has recently been launched, to develop measurement solutions and standards to improve measurement confidence, establish measurement traceability, and enable comparability. Results of these efforts will be delivered through benchmark measurements and data, standard and reference materials, and validated computational simulations. NIST’s capabilities, approach, and near-term efforts are presented.


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Topic : Theme 2: State of play in integrated approaches for advanced GHG emission estimates and the way forward to operational services.
Reference : T2-B20

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