Sika develops concrete recycling process26 October 2021

Sika has developed a new recycling process for old concrete, in which the used building material is broken down into its individual components of gravel, sand and limestone in a simple and efficient process, which also binds about 60kg of CO2 per ton of crushed concrete demolition waste.

According to the European Commission, 25–30% of all waste generated in the EU consists of construction demolition waste materials, many of which could be recycled. Recycling these materials is particularly crucial in dense urban areas, as this is where most old concrete accumulates.

With the new process, old concrete can be completely recycled and saved from landfill. So far, attempts to recycle old concrete have led to rather low recycling rates, and only 30% of primary material can be substituted by these recycled materials in structural concrete, says Sika.

Comparative testing of the Sika ‘reCO2ver’ process has demonstrated that new concrete containing recycled content performs similarly to an all-new product. Thanks to additional chemical additives that have also been developed, further process optimisation can be achieved, the company says.

"With our strong expertise in concrete technology, we were able to develop a completely new recycling process that can be considered a game changer in the concrete industry. We are already developing complementary chemical additives and quality enhancers and are pushing the industrialization of our new technology," said Frank Höfflin, chief technology officer.

Operations Engineer

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