LafargeHolcim partners on C&D materials study

By |  July 22, 2021


LafargeHolcim in the US and Geocycle, one of its subsidiaries, partnered on a research project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research & Development Center (ERDC) to study how construction and demolition (C&D) materials can be used for energy recovery and mineral recycling.

Under the agreement, the ERDC will provide technical assistance and $3.4 million to conduct a waste characterization study and develop a basic research program to demonstrate how C&D debris from across U.S. military installations can be used to create alternative fuels and alternative raw materials for the production of new, more sustainable construction materials.

“In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that approximately 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris was generated in the United States, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste,” says Sophie Wu, director of Geocycle North America. “The partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help us better understand this material and see how we can create a circular economy program leading to a zero-waste future.”

The research will utilize resources at Geocycle’s Holly Hill Research Center in South Carolina and Holcim’s Global Innovation Center in France. Geocycle, a provider of industrial, agricultural and municipal waste management services worldwide, works to develop new, innovative waste management techniques combined with proven “co-processing” technology.

“We expect this partnership to lead to waste reduction opportunities at Army installations,” says Stephen Cosper, an environmental engineer and project manager at ERDC. “We’re very excited about how this project can positively impact our military installations and our environment in the future.”

About the project

The research team will begin by conducting a waste-characterization study at a number of military installations facing significant C&D debris. Construction materials will then be evaluated for possible co-processing opportunities, including energy recovery, mineral reuse and mineral recovery.

According to LafargeHolcim, information obtained as part of the research will help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identify ways to reduce waste, increase its circular economy and avoid landfill costs and associated emissions.

“In the U.S., LafargeHolcim’s sustainability goals are at the heart of our research agenda,” says Toufic Tabbara, CEO of U.S. cement at LafargeHolcim. “While we are proud to offer some of the leading low-carbon, sustainable building products in the market today, we want to make sure we develop the next generation of materials needed to reach our net-zero goal.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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