The Concrete Industry’s Carbon Footprint Must Be Controlled – Could Graphene Be the Answer?

June 11, 2018 Charity Newsome

The concrete industry is responsible for about 5% of the global carbon dioxide emissions. It’s no question that something must be done to help control the effect on the plant, and the University of Exeter in England just might have the solution. The most recent issue of the journal Advanced Functional Materials includes an article from the University detailing an innovative solution to reducing construction’s carbon footprint – graphene reinforced concrete.

Graphene Reinforced Concrete

Adding graphene to the concrete mixture creates a product that is twice as strong, and four times more resistant to water than traditional concrete. 

Past efforts in altering the makeup of concrete has led to processes where existing components of concrete were modified. In this case, graphene is introduced as a new component, where it is suspended in water. 

Emission Reduction

The introduction of graphene improves concrete’s emissions by about 50%. Graphene reinforced concrete requires fewer materials to make, which translates to a 446 kilogram reduction in carbon emissions for each ton of concrete products.

“This ground-breaking research is important as it can be applied to large-scale manufacturing and construction. The industry has to be modernized by incorporating not only off-site manufacturing, but innovative new materials as well,” said lead author of the article, Dimitar Dimov.

“Finding greener ways to build is a crucial step forward in reducing carbon emissions around the world and so help protect our environment as much as possible. It is the first step, but a crucial step in the right direction to make a more sustainable construction industry for the future.”

For more information, check out this article.

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