Scientists Develop Environmental Friendly Green Concrete

In an effort to improve upon the world’s most widely used cement construction material, scientists in the U.K. have developed a “green” concrete that they say is more environmentally friendly than the ordinary stuff, as well as more durable and more than twice as strong.

New forms of concrete can trap and store the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, break down pollutants from exhaust fumes, and help protect aging infrastructure by sealing cracks as they form.

Prof. Monica Craciun, a professor of nano-engineering at the University of Exeter and a member of the research team responsible for the new material, said the material is an “absolute game-changer”.

Although other experts gave a more measured assessment of the material’s immediate commercial potential, but a written statement said a university-affiliated startup to sell it could be launched by year-end.

According to the statement, ”the new form of concrete looks like ordinary concrete but gets its special properties from the addition of microscopic flakes of graphene, a form of carbon that is one of the world’s strongest materials.

”Greater strength means less of the stuff would be needed to construct walls and other structures. That’s significant since making cement concrete’s principal ingredient accounts for 5 percent of global emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

And if walls and other components of buildings can be made thinner, new design possibilities open up for architects and builders who work with concrete.”

Craciun said the concrete-graphene composite is four times more resistant to water infiltration than ordinary concrete suggesting that buildings and infrastructure made of it might stand up better over time, especially in flood zones.

She said the composite material is also more elastic than ordinary concrete, meaning it might be a better choice for construction projects in areas prone to earthquakes.

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