A team of MIT scientists have come up with a formula that could cut the carbon emissions associated with production of concrete in half.
The MIT researchers discovered that by decreasing the ratio of calcium to the silicate-rich clay in the current formula, causes a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by almost 60 percent. The team found that a 1.5 ratio of calcium to silica is optimal, which is less than the current ratio of 1.7. They also found that concrete created using the new formula is twice as fracture resistant as normal cement. This is due to the molecular structure, which is a more disordered glassy structure instead of the standard tightly ordered crystalline.
The analysis of the new cement formula so far has only been done on the molecular level, but the team is getting ready to test it on a larger scale. If the formula is proven to be reliable, the researchers believe that it would be very useful in the oil and gas industries to prevent blowouts and leaks.