Coal-Based Product Could Replace Sand in Concrete | Blog

Posted 07-02-2024
Category Research

Research conducted by Rice University researchers revealed that graphene obtained from metallurgical coke, a coal-derived product, has the potential to function not just as a strengthening additive in cement but also as a substitute for sand in concrete.

Conducting a comparison between concrete produced with the graphene aggregate substitute and concrete using appropriate sand aggregates, the results showed that the coal-based concrete was 25% lighter, whilst maintaining the same level of toughness.

With the potential to reduce reliance on natural sand and lower carbon emissions from the concrete industry, this new technology could lead to more sustainable urban development practices.

Satish Nagarajaiah, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and of mechanical engineering who is a corresponding author on the study, emphasized that “30% of concrete is composed of sand — a significant part.”

Image: James Tour (left) and Satish Nagarajaiah (right).

“The fact that we’re on the brink of a ‘sand crisis’ motivates us to look for alternatives, and metallurgical coke, which costs about the same as sand at about 10% of the cost of concrete, could help not only make better-quality concrete, but also eventually translate into significant savings,” Nagarajaiah said.

The research was supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation.


Read the original article HERE!