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Production of traditonal concrete is highly energy intensive and accounts for the third largest source of man-made carbon emissions. However, alternatives to traditional concrete production now exist, the best of these being high volume fly-ash concrete, which comes from coal-burning powerplants. When mixed with lime and water, the fly-ash forms a substance that is as strong and durable as traditional portland concrete. Other alternatives include blast furnace slag concrete, made from the residual materials from iron furnaces, and carbon concrete, a kind of thermoplastic. Other ways to make traditional concrete better for the environment is to mix it with aggregate materials, such as fibercrete and granulated plastics, which would reduce the overall amount of concrete used.
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