MIT students have discovered a way to produce concrete that is close to 20% stronger than traditional concrete by incorporating used plastic bottles. The bottles are pulverized and then added into the concrete.
Concrete is the most used material for construction and by incorporating bottles into them, waste going to landfills and the pollution that causes will decrease. Furthermore, buildings will become stronger and may last longer.
This technology also uses less cement to actually construct the concrete, which in turn leads to fewer carbon dioxide emissions.
Make concrete manufacturers gain access to plastic bottle pulverization machines.
Educate the manufacturers on how to create this.
Incentivize contractors to use this new concrete in their new building projects.
“VR is an exciting and interesting new technology with a lot of potential. One great option is to use VR to host and attend business meetings around the world. This will actually also be an environmentally friendly way of doing so, as the people attending the meeting won’t be required to travel far to go to the meeting. A large portion of today’s airplane traffic is due to business travelers attending one or two meetings in another city or country. If these meetings could be taken from the office instead, a lot of carbon emissions will be spared. In addition, busy businessmen and -women wouldn’t need to leave their families for an extended period of time several times a month, they could just attend the meeting during a normal day at the office.”
The cement industry accounts for approximately 5-7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the traditional cement curing process is highly water intensive. As cement is the second most utilized product in the world (after water), improving its manufacturing processes can have a significant impact on global sustainability.
Solidia technologies has developed a new way to produce concrete and cement that reduces the material’s carbon footprint by up to 70%, and water consumption by 60-80%.
The technology uses a lower kiln temperature for manufacturing of cement, which reduces energy consumption, GHG emissions, and costs.
The concrete is cured with cO2 rather than the traditional curing process using water, reducing the process’s water use.
The resulting material is not only more durable and higher performing than traditional concrete, it is also less expensive to produce.
Building and contracting companies
Local Departments of Building
Private developers and homeowners (building new buildings/homes)
The first 3 steps in deploying technology:
Insert Solidia cement into local building codes as a mandatory material (banning traditional cement).
Seek investments to build additional factories and ramp up production capabilities.
Create licensing deals and training programs with existing cement companies, allowing them to produce Solidia Cement.
Comment on “The Compost Professor: A Smart Composting System” by JM4202
As someone who tried home composting for a while (on the roof of my building), I think this is a very good idea, but still has some issues, especially for composting in urban areas.
One of the biggest problems I faced was lack of dry material to add to the compost. In suburbs, homeowners usually have lots of dry leaves they can use from their yards, but that is usually not the case in cities. It seems that this technology is geared towards suburban dwellers, it would be interesting to find a technological solution for home composting in cities.
Production of concrete is environmentally destructive. In its 1 metric ton manufacture, up to 920 KG of CO2 is produced. The 3 billion metric tons of concrete made around the world in 2009 alone accounts for 5% or CO2 emission produced that year. Efforts to develop a sustainable alternative is thereby crucial.
(This post will review the green-mix concrete design developed by researchers from Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia)
The concrete is manufactured and designed utilizing conventional materials with partial replacement using recycled materials namely:
Fly ash – byproduct of coal power plants that are usually disposed in ponds and sent to landfills. Its properties have a large potential of replacing cement.
Crushed concretes from demolished construction – used as aggregates.
Aluminum cans – used as reinforcements. They can easily be changed to chopped fibers.
The concrete is cost effective due to the optimized material proportion. Its strength is also enhanced by 30% and is environmentally better performing as raw material consumption and landfill waste are reduced.
Green concrete manufacturer
Government should create incentives for the production of the green-mix concretes or buildings that have opted to utilize them. This can be done through tax breaks, subsidies etc. NGOs may be able to help efforts lobby the government for such efforts.
Maintain relationship with investors to secure funding in order to constantly improve the quality of the product.
The university should create a marketing strategy to promote the green concrete mix, not only to construction companies and building designers, but also for potential commercialization in the nearby future.
The bio-concrete healing itself (Image Courtesy of Delft University)
Imagine if a crack in the pavement miraculously “healed” itself? Prof. Erik Schlangen of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands spent seven years developing the technology. A pilot program is in place in Ecuador. Last December, researchers assisted farmers with the installation of bio-concrete irrigation canals. The goal is to perfect the technology and expand its use around the globe.
Bacteria-based solution to fix small cracks; also called bio-concrete
Pilot project in Ecuador: built irrigation canals
Concrete still most widely used building material due to strength and durability
The Sustainability Problem
Cracks in concrete/asphalt lead to leaks and weakened structures
Necessitates use of more concrete to repair cracks
Concrete has extremely harmful environmental impacts
Next to coal-powered electricity, cement manufacture is the next biggest emitter of GHGs
Cement manufacture accounts for nearly 5% of annual anthropogenic global CO2
Requires intense heating process which is fueled by burning fossil fuels and also breaks down calcium carbonate
Every ton of cement produces a ton of CO2
Self-healing concrete is a green solution; reduces need for frequent repair/replacement