For decades the manufacture of cement materials are the most manufactured in the world, and their manufacture is responsible for 6 percent of global carbon emissions.
Demand continues to increase, so it is necessary to find more environmentally friendly alternative solutions, and MIT researchers have been working on it.
They have found a way of producing cement inspired by the hierarchical arrangement of blocks of simple construction in natural materials. The team has analyzed a key property in the concrete, at individual atom level, which contributes to its overall strength and durability, and has created a computer model to simulate the behavior of these atoms in forming molecular building blocks within a hardening material.
These simulations revealed interesting data: it is possible to improve adhesion and hardening by mixing certain additives such as volcanic ash, refinery slags and other materials, helping to build stronger and environmentally sustainable structures. In this way, understanding better how cement works at the atomic level, it will be possible to create new substances that perform the same function without destroying the environment.
They believe that they can implement such technology using materials that are available locally, which would allow reuse of material in any country.