Researchers in the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed an energy-saving approach to controllably fabricate cemented solids with hybrid microstructures and enhanced properties.
Concrete and ordinary portland cement (OPC) are fundamental building materials, produced at 30 billion tons and 4.1 billion tons per year, respectively. Conventional manufacturing methods used to make these materials, however, have significant deficiencies. The chemical reactions currently used to produce those materials are highly-energy intensive (>5kJ/g), and account for 9% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions every year. Furthermore, once the concrete and OPC are put into use, the produced material can react with water at standard temperature and pressure resulting in an uncontrollable microstructure and the requirement of skilled laborers to ensure durable construction and length of structural service-life.
The proposed synthesis method to fabrication of cemented solids can produce cemented solids with enhanced properties that have low-temperature activation, active control of reactions by hydrothermal synthesis, and design of hybrid microstructures. The method is energy efficient, enhancing dissolution rates of the cement and OPC precursors and industrial wastes at sub-boiling temperatures and ambient pressure. Activation of these abundant precursor materials reduces the overall energy required to process the raw materials (relative to conventional cements), and removes the need for CO2. Additionally, this process allows for an elevated degree of control of the temperature, pressure and flow-rate, allowing for a more predictable microstructure and higher level of certainty for the service life of the materials produced, even by unspecialized laborers.
• Universal architecture materials • Land reclamation materials • Other commercial construction materials
• 50% energy saving • Low CO2 emission • Enhanced mechanical properties • Super durability and fracture-resistance
A comprehensive and integrated manufacturing method is proposed.