Cement ensures durability and strength

While the wood contributes breathability and flexibility, the cement adds strength and durability to Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool.

By using cement as the binder, the acoustic panels do not weaken or age in the same way as, for example, metal or wooden surfaces. This ensures that Troldtekt acoustic panels have a long lifespan of at least 50-70 years, and can often ‘live on’ when a building is refurbished or repurposed. This makes it possible to save resources and CO2 for the production of new building materials.

Due to their strength and durability, Troldtekt acoustic panels are also suitable for particularly demanding environments – for example swimming pools with chlorine fumes and high humidity levels.

It is also the cement that makes Troldtekt acoustic panels fireproof – without the use of harmful chemicals.

A significantly reduced carbon footprint with FUTURECEM

Troldtekt has developed a Cradle to Cradle-certified acoustic panel in which the cement has been replaced with the new reduced carbon cement type FUTURECEMTM. FUTURECEM is a patented type of cement from Aalborg Portland which exploits the synergies between calcined clay and limestone filler. This means that much of the fired clinker in the cement can be replaced, resulting in a 30 per cent lower carbon footprint.

Troldtekt based on FUTURECEM has a carbon footprint that is 26 and 38 per cent lower than the carbon footprints of Troldtekt based on grey and white cement, respectively, measured throughout the entire life cycle of the acoustic panels. In 2021, almost all the energy – 97.8 per cent – consumed at Troldtekt’s own factory came from renewable sources.

These graphs show the carbon footprint of Troldtekt acoustic panels based on either traditional grey cement or FUTURECEM in the various life cycle phases.

Replacing grey and white cement

The different types of Troldtekt acoustic panels contain either grey or white cement. To begin with, Troldtekt has introduced acoustic panels in which FUTURECEM replaces the grey standard cement. The solutions in Troldtekt’s award-winning design series will also be available based on FUTURECEM.

In the long run, the ambition is for FUTURECEM to also replace white cement. Compared to standard grey cement, the potential carbon reduction is even greater for white cement.

The acoustic and fire-protection properties of Troldtekt acoustic panels based on FUTURECEM are the same as for Troldtekt panels manufactured using ordinary cement. The panels’ inherent strength is also preserved, while they have a slightly warmer look.

Absorbs CO2 during use

Troldtekt only uses cement from Aalborg Portland, which extracts the raw materials from the Danish underground with minimal environmental impact.

When we produce the acoustic panels, the cement in the cement-bonded wood wool starts to absorb CO2 gradually as it sets. The cement layer that surrounds the wood wool in a Troldtekt acoustic panel is very thin and therefore has a large surface area. Consequently, all the cement can more easily carbonise – i.e. bind CO2 – during the lifespan of the panel. In fact, a Troldtekt acoustic panel is able to naturally absorb and store more CO2 than solid concrete.

Towards an even lower carbon footprint

The cement accounts for almost the entire carbon footprint of a Troldtekt acoustic panel. Therefore, our ambition is to further reduce the cement’s footprint, while at the same time exploring whether it is possible to use binders other than cement.

Aalborg Portland is collaborating with the Danish government on realising extremely ambitious goals for reducing its CO2 emissions. Specifically, the company has committed to reducing emissions by 600,000 tonnes in order to support Denmark’s goal of reducing GHG emissions by 70 per cent by 2050. The target is a 30 per cent reduction by 2030.

In addition to launching greener cement products such as FUTURECEM™, Aalborg aims to achieve its goals by working with energy-efficiency improvements, by phasing out fossil fuels, through carbon capture, through the increased use of alternative or carbon-neutral fuels and by supplying carbon-neutral district heating to over 75,000 households.

Investigating alternative binders

We are also investigating binders that could be a possible alternative to cement. One example is geopolymers, which are not based on lime, but instead on silica/alumina compounds, which are found in ash from biomass, for example.

In collaboration with the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology (DBI) and with the support of Innovation Fund Denmark, we are looking into whether it is possible to use for example geopolymers as a raw material in Troldtekt acoustic panels and what it would require to do so.