Bridging concrete's pollution gap
In today’s world, concrete is the second most used resource behind water.
However, concrete production using traditional ingredients is historically damaging to the world’s atmosphere, a fact becoming more urgent in the current climate. For a material so integral to building our future, even a marginal improvement can have lasting positive effects. But what are the alternatives, and are they feasible?
We looked at conventional concrete and two alternatives - ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) and geopolymer concrete with graphene - in the context of bridge slabs and girders, and considered their structural performance against the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted during their production. We found that despite its superior strength, using less UHPFRC does not create a net positive effect, and that if production of geopolymer concrete can be expanded to a larger scale, there are savings with the potential to make a difference.
Our built and natural environments
Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering