- Cement made with CARROT extract could make for stronger, more environmentally-friendly concrete
- 조회수 : 93 작성일 : 2018.10.22
Cement made with CARROT extract could make for stronger,
more environmentally-friendly concrete, researchers say
- Researchers experimenting with material made from concrete and carrot extract
- Carrot nano platelets prevent cracks, making for material that's 80% stronger
- Method requires less cement, and drastically reduces carbon dioxide emissions
Crunchy and tasty, yes, but could carrots also strengthen cement and cut carbon dioxide emissions for the building industry? A group of researchers at Britain's Lancaster University has been using a household food blender to mix particles from the root vegetable with concrete to see if they can produce a stronger and more environmentally sound product. The new material – made by combining ordinary cement with nano platelets extracted from carrots tossed out by the food industry – is resistant to cracks, and stands at up to 80 percent stronger than the conventional product.
'The composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and microstructure properties, but also use smaller amounts of cement,' Professor Mohamed Saafi from Lancaster University's Engineering Department said.
'This significantly reduces both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with cement manufacturing.'The addition of carrots prevent any cracks in the concrete, the team said. It also means less cement is required, therefore lowering the global carbon dioxide (CO2) output.Cement is responsible for seven percent of total global CO2 emissions, according to International Energy Agency estimates. In proof-of-concept studies, the researchers found that the addition of the carrot nano platelets resulted in a savings of 40kg of cement, and of carbon dioxide, per cubic square meter of concrete.
'We found out you could increase the strength of concrete by 80 percent by using a small amount of this new material,' Saafi told Reuters. 'Our preliminary results show that adding about half a kilogram of carrot nanomaterial will reduce about 10 kilograms of cement per one cubic metre of concrete,' the researcher says. The team have also tried sugar beet fibres in cement mixtures, with all their vegetables coming from food waste.
They will continue to test their mixtures alongside their commercial partners, a Scottish company which makes paint using root vegetable fibres. The researchers are also working on a way to retrofit existing concrete structures with the material to make them stronger without having to start from scratch. So far, they're looking into the use of thin sheets built from the vegetable-based material that could be added as reinforcement. These sheets will be more flexible than alternatives such as carbon fiber, meaning they will better protect against potentially damaging forces. Over the course of a two-year project, they'll further investigate the material's capabilities and look for ways to incorporate it into the construction industry.
* The two-year research project has received almost £200,000 backing from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, and will now build on early findings to gain a fuller understand of how the vegetable nano platelet fibers can enhance the concrete mix.