Cement as we know it today was invented almost 200 years ago, and since then has played a crucial role in the the development of our homes, cities, and infrastructure.
Cement is made by heating a mix of limestone and clay to approximately 1,450 degrees celsius in a rotary kiln. The resulting product, created by sintering, is known as clinker. In the cement mill, gypsum is added to the clinker and the mixture is then ground to a fine powder, resulting in traditional Portland cement. Although the production of cement is energy-intensive, its embodied energy compared to other materials such as steel and aluminum is respectively about 25 and 200 times lower.
When mixed with water, sand, and aggregates, cement acts as a binder that creates a highly resistant, durable, and strong material known as concrete. Concrete is the most used building material in the world. Currently, per year an estimated 13 billion cubic meters of concrete is produced from the four billion tonnes of cement manufactured worldwide.