Washington DC: Mountains of concrete are frequently taken to landfills or pounded into rubble for roads in the aftermath of a large-scale earthquake, war, or other calamity, and as ageing buildings and infrastructure are replaced. For a more sustainable approach, Flinders University and The University of Melbourne experts are developing a ‘value add’ for old broken concrete to ‘upcycling’ coarse aggregate to produce a strong, durable and workable concrete using a small amount of a secret ingredient – graphene.
The novel method is gaining ground every day as new graphene deposits are discovered and mined – bringing the price of that raw material down as the cost of cement and aggregates continues to rise, the researchers say.
They have tested results using a weak graphene solution on recycled aggregates to produce concrete potentially superior to untreated recycled aggregates in cement-based mixtures.
Such methods are urgently needed in waste management with demolition and construction waste products expected to rise to almost 2.6 billion tonnes by 2030 globally. At the same time, the production of concrete is adding to climate change with greenhouse gas emissions and extraction methods adding to the ecological impacts.
Improving the quality of recycled concrete aggregates will also play a vital role in the quality, performance and workability of recycled concrete aggregates while reducing the environmental footprints. Flinders University’s Dr Aliakbar Gholampour, the first author in a new article in Resources, Conservation and Recycling, said,
This new form of treated recycled concrete aggregates may be more expensive to make right now, but when considering circularity and the life cycle of the materials, the costs are coming down rapidly.
Dr Gholampour, Senior Lecturer in Civil and Structural Engineering at Flinders, says the new method’s success could also help to meet increasing demand for building materials around the world.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.