Engineers at Kansas State University are developing stronger concrete with manufacturing techniques that use biofuels and reduce carbon emissions, the university said in a statement..
"The idea is to use bioethanol production byproducts to produce a material to use in concrete as a partial replacement of cement," Feraidon Ataie, doctoral student in civil engineering, Kabul, Afghanistan, said in the statement. "By using these materials we can reduce the carbon footprint of concrete materials."
Concrete is the most used industrial material in the world: 7 billion cubic meters a year, the university said.
"Even though making concrete is less energy intensive than making steel or other building materials, we use so much of it that concrete production accounts for between 3 to 8 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions," Kyle Riding, Ataie’s faculty mentor said in the statement.
The researchers are studying whether by-products of biofuels — corn stover, wheat and rice straw — might replace part of the portland cement in manufacturing, the university said.