Discovery paves way for stronger, more eco-friendly cement

Researchers in Denmark have found a way to make the world's most popular building material stronger and more eco-friendly.

A team from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen discovered that adding waste ash from sugar production helped bind water into cement; making it stronger, less likely to crumble, and able to withstand high temperatures. "At the same time, energy is saved and pollution from cement production is reduced," said researcher Heloisa Bordallo. "Cement production uses a lot of energy and emits large amounts of CO2, because it needs to be heated up to very high temperatures. "Cement production accounts for 5% of global CO2 emissions. If you replace 20% of the content with ash, you are saving both CO2 emissions and raw materials."