Novacem’s ‘carbon negative cement’

By / March 9, 2011

  Blocks made with Novacem cement. Credit: Novacem A “green” material that has received growing press attention (at least online) in recent months is a product from Novacem that the company is billing as a “carbon negative cement.” The most recent stimulus for these stories is that in February, a New York-based consultancy group called…

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Tesla: We are close to ‘closed loop’ battery recycling with reusable alloys, slag

By / February 3, 2011

To make sure their car parts are disposed off in the most eco-friendly manner possible, Tesla has launched a new recycling strategy for its batteries, which are designed to last 7 to 10 years, or about 100,000 miles under normal use. According to a company press release, Tesla Motors has teamed up with Belgium’s Umicore…

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Video of the Week: ‘Green concrete’ composed of 70% fly ash

By / January 31, 2011

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology believe that increasing the amount of fly ash in concrete up to 70 percent can result in excellent concrete in terms of both strength and durability. And it could prevent millions of tons of the waste product from ending up in landfills. “Traditional specifications limit the amount…

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NPR: Haitians take rubble removal into own hands

By / January 13, 2011

(Credit: Jonathan Pankau/Wikimedia Commons.) Last week we had about a report from researchers at Georgia Tech who show how concrete rubble from the earthquake can be safely recycled into stronger concrete using local resources and manual production and mixing techniques. As a follow-up to this, I want to highlight an NPR story first broadcast yesterday…

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Rebuilding in Haiti can be faster, stronger and less expensive using concrete made of recycled materials, says Georgia Tech group

By / January 4, 2011

Credit: ACerS Bulletin/Reginald DesRoches It’s nearly the one-year anniversary of the huge earthquake that crumbled Port-au-Prince and other parts of Haiti, and, unfortunately, reconstruction has taken place only on a very small scale. The reasons for the slow pace are complicated: political uncertainties, uncoordinated plans and financing and, fundamentally, the underlying poverty of the nation…

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A method to defeat damage propagation autonomously in self-healing materials

By / December 10, 2010

a) Digital image correlation showing the recovery strain due to the shape memory effect around the crack location.b) Schematic of complete flow for the combination of active toughening with active healing. Credit Garcia, Lin and Sodano; AIP. Researchers out of the Multiscale Adaptive Sensors and Structures Lab at Arizona State University have developed an interesting…

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UPDATE: Video of the week: Chemistry of concrete

By / November 19, 2010

We’ve received a lot of feedback questioning some of the science presented in this video. I forwarded some of the comments on to the producers and requested a response. I just received the following response from the lab at University of Nottingham: “[Professor Martyn Poliakoff] has been away in Africa but I’ll ask him to…

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Haiti’s materials debris problem still slowing infrastructure rebuilding

By / November 18, 2010

Remains of Montana Hotel, Port-au-Prince. Credit: Joshua Lee Kelsey, USN. An ACerS Cements Division member tipped me off to an op-ed in the New York Times that appeared this summer that I (and probably many others) overlooked, but is still timely for many reasons. It It was written by three of the member’s colleagues at…

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Cement usage still coming under fire for role in Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill

By / October 28, 2010

Credit: Coast Guard. I wrote about this issue back in May and June, and now the lead investigator of the presidential commission investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf has delivered to commissioners a letter that asserts that Halliburton staffers knew there were problems in the cement mixture used to line the drill…

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Iowa State Portland cement expert provide some insights on Deepwater Horizon oil well failure

By / June 18, 2010

A Portland cement concrete research engineer at Iowa State University says poor decision making, not poor technology, doomed the Deepwater Horizon. Bob Steffes, ISU’s Institute for Transportation, bases his conclusions on 17 years of overseas oil rig experience, including a blowout on an offshore well in the Middle East. In a release from the university,…

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