Beets and carrots could lead to stronger and greener buildings | 7/20/2018 | Staff
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According to engineers, root vegetables aren't only good for the body. Their fibres could also help make concrete mixtures stronger and more eco-friendly.

Construction projects have a significant impact on our environment. To combat this, stakeholders in the academic and industrial sectors have been looking for ways to make the industry more environment friendly. The EU-funded project B-SMART will be contributing to these efforts by focusing on concrete and the more culpable of its ingredients: cement.

Lancaster - University - United - Kingdom - Project

Led by Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, the project will be investigating how nanoplatelets extracted from the fibres of root vegetables can make concrete mixtures more robust and more environment friendly. So far, initial tests have shown that adding nanoplatelets from sugar beet or carrot to these mixtures greatly enhances the mechanical properties of concrete.

According to lead researcher Prof. Mohamed Saafi from Lancaster University, the novel cement nanocomposites developed as part of this project "are made by combining ordinary Portland cement with nano platelets extracted from waste root vegetables taken from the food industry."

Composites - Cement - Products - Terms - Microstructure

"The composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and microstructure properties but also use smaller amounts of cement," Prof. Saafi said in the news item posted on the University website. "This significantly reduces both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with cement manufacturing."

The concrete industry is one of the biggest producers of CO2. The ingredient largely responsible for this is ordinary Portland cement, one of the main components of concrete. The volume of CO2 emitted during concrete production is directly proportional to the amount of cement used in the concrete mixture. Currently, for every tonne of cement...
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