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Low Carbon Cements and Concretes Consortium


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, in support of efforts to develop standards for low carbon construction materials, has established the Low Carbon Cements and Concretes Consortium. The Consortium brings together stakeholders to identify and address measurement and standards needs related to low carbon cements and concretes used to reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions from cement and concrete products.


  • Contact: lowcarbonconcrete [at] (lowcarbonconcrete[at]nist[dot]gov) for more information or to apply for a membership
  • Participants will sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement

Notice of research consortium. 


Laying Cement Hero Shot

Cement is one of the most widely used materials and a critical component of roads, bridges, and buildings. Cement manufacturing is also a major contributor to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through both energy use and calcination reactions. To help meet net zero climate goals, industry is developing a variety of techniques to reduce the net amount of CO2 emitted from cement and concrete manufacturing. For example, one approach is to change the composition of the cement to reduce the total manufacturing process emissions. Another approach is to take advantage of carbonation, the uptake of CO2, by curing concrete under a CO2 atmosphere or injecting CO2 during the mixing process. 

For more information visit the NIST Carbon Capture and Carbon Sequestration project page.

consortium goals

The initial focus of this consortium is to evaluate, develop, and standardize methods to characterize and quantify the carbon and carbonates in new low carbon cements and concretes. Test methods to specifically measure carbon in these materials are being explored. A later focus of the consortium will be to evaluate the suitability of current measurement standards to measure the material, mechanical, structural, and durability properties and, where appropriate, develop new test methods needed to help enable acceptance of new low carbon cements and concretes in the marketplace. NIST and industrial partners will perform research together with the following four goals:

  • Evaluate the suitability of current ASTM standards to measure carbon, including specifically measuring carbon in cements, concretes, and the associated starting materials such as aggregates.
  • Accurately measure the amount of carbon uptake by a material during CO2 -curing processes. Validate the robustness and repeatability of the measurement method.
  • Use these measurements as a foundation to propose tests(s) that can be standardized through the ASTM consensus process.
  • Evaluate the applicability of current material, mechanical, structural, and durability tests used for cements and concretes to new low carbon cements and concretes. If needed, develop new tests or point out why old tests are not needed to help enable acceptance of these new materials in the marketplace.

No proprietary information will be shared as part of the Consortium. Participants will not be required to contribute any funds or pay any fee. Contributions of sample low carbon cements, concretes, and associated aggregates are highly encouraged.


  • Convenes industry, academia, and government to identify and address measurement and standards needs 
  • Enables members to work with NIST to develop measurement solutions and standards
  • Leverages NIST expertise in measurement science, standards development, reference materials, technology development, and basic research
  • Collaborates with related programs at other federal agencies 


  • Cross-disciplinary expertise in engineering, and the physical, information, chemical, and biological sciences
  • As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST does not impose standards; standards are accepted by consensus
  • Neutral convener for industry consortia, standards development organizations, federal labs, universities, public workshops, and interlaboratory comparability testing


A group of people posing for a photo in front of the NIST Boulder campus
A group photo of the Low Carbon Cements and Concretes Consortium during an in-person meeting on the NIST Boulder, CO campus in July 2023.
Created September 9, 2022, Updated May 22, 2024