Why We Need a New Type Of Concrete

  • Reading time:6 mins read
  • Post comments:0 Comments

The future of concrete is bright. Concrete is the most common building material in the world, but it takes a huge toll on the environment. Concrete production accounts for 4% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and there’s not much we can do to reduce that number while maintaining our current standard of living.

What if we could make concrete more durable and strengthen the internal structure? This new type of “micro-concrete” takes up less space and has a smaller carbon footprint, but it’s still strong enough to be used in construction. This blog describes how micro-concrete works and why it’s important for the construction industry.

As engineers and architects continue to push the limits of what concrete can do, a new type of material is required.

The concrete used in most building projects today is essentially the same as it was in the late 19th century. That’s because most modern concrete is made from Portland cement, which was invented in 1824 and patented in 1845. Portland cement is a combination of ground limestone, clay and sand heated to very high temperatures (1,450°C) that then reacts with water. The result is a rock-like material that hardens into concrete. But this basic formula has not changed much in more than 150 years and it has several drawbacks:

Traditional concrete production uses large amounts of energy and releases significant levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This new type of concrete has been tested in the lab, but will soon be used for real-world construction projects.

Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world right now. It was a pivotal development in human history and has enabled us to build structures of tremendous complexity, from the pyramids of ancient Egypt to the super-tall skyscrapers of today.

Currently, concrete production is responsible for about 8% of humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions. It uses huge amounts of resources and its manufacture is incredibly energy-intensive. I believe that we need to develop an alternative type of concrete that takes advantage of modern science and technology to create a more resilient, durable, and environmentally friendly building material.

The main ingredient in concrete is cement, which is essentially a mixture of calcium and silicon compounds. This cement mix can be combined with water and aggregates (rock, gravel, sand) to make a paste which dries into rock-hard hardened concrete. The problem with this mixture is that different types of rock aggregate have different densities and levels of impurities, so it takes experimentation to find the best ratio for each new batch of concrete.

This new concrete has been named “micro concrete” and is being developed by a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The group, led by Professor Scott Brandt and Professor Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, have found that a specific type of microorganism called Bacillus pasteurii can create an environment in which calcium carbonate (the main component of limestone) can precipitate. This precipitation produces a highly porous structure that is extremely strong and durable.

The recent study, published in the June edition of the journal “Advanced Materials,” details how the researchers were able to genetically engineer E. coli bacteria to produce cellulose fibers and then mix them with sand and water to form a solid material. This material was then poured into a mold, where it hardened into strong, microfiber reinforced concrete.

So how did they get this microorganism to produce cellulose fibers? Well, they didn’t! They discovered it naturally occurring in nature and simply cultivated it in their laboratory to make more of it.**

Concrete has revolutionized the way we build, but the ecological impact of making this material is enormous. Many researchers have investigated using recycled materials to replace virgin materials in concrete. Recycled materials are usually cheaper and stronger than virgin materials. Namely, fly ash, a waste product from coal plants, can be used in place of cement. Cement is usually the most expensive ingredient and emits the most greenhouse gases in concrete. Fly ash can not only reduce cost but also improve strength and durability.

However, there are several environmental problems associated with fly ash such as heavy metal contamination and carbon dioxide emissions. We can address these problems by replacing some of the fly ash with nanomaterials such as graphene oxide or nanoclay. These materials can improve strength while decreasing carbon dioxide emissions. Graphene oxide is also excellent at removing toxic metals from wastewater.

Concrete is all around us. It’s in our sidewalks and roads, in our buildings and bridges, and even in our homes. It is a dependable and durable material that has been the backbone of the global construction industry for decades. Concrete production is responsible for about 4% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions each year, but concrete-based infrastructure has made modern life possible.

Concrete production generates about 1 ton of CO2 for every ton of cement created. The world uses about 4 billion tons of concrete per year, which means that concrete production accounts for about 4% of annual CO2 emissions from human activity. Concrete is responsible for more CO2 emissions than any other man-made material; it is far worse than steel or plastic. In fact, if the global concrete industry were a country, it would be the world’s third largest carbon emitter!

Because it is at once the most widely used man-made material and the most ubiquitous, concrete is an ideal vehicle for exploring the past, present, and future of human civilization. Concrete is the physical manifestation of our technological progress; it is both a signifier of social progress and a structural support for our communities. As such, concrete offers an anchor point for understanding the origins of our society, as well as its future direction.

Concrete, in its broadest sense, refers to a composite material composed of two or more ingredients that act symbiotically to form a single substance. The two main components of concrete are cement – a binder or glue – and aggregate – sand, gravel, crushed stone or other inert filler; water activates the cement to bind the aggregate into a solid mass.

The earliest known use of concrete dates back to around 6500 BC in ancient Syria; archeological evidence suggests that the Nabataeans used asphalt from nearby oil fields to waterproof cisterns. The first early concrete structures were built by the Romans around 300 BC. The Roman architect Vitruvius wrote about pozzolana or volcanic ash with hydraulic properties (the “pozzolanic reaction”) as an ingredient in mortar and concrete made with lime.

Leave a Reply