Innovative Graphene Method Redefines Concrete Recycling

Society » ENVIRONMENT | December 6, 2023, Wednesday // 13:35
Bulgaria: Innovative Graphene Method Redefines Concrete Recycling

Researchers from Flinders University and The University of Melbourne are pioneering a groundbreaking method to transform discarded concrete into a valuable resource, paving the way for a more sustainable construction approach.

Typically, heaps of concrete debris find their way into landfills or are crushed into rubble for road construction after earthquakes, conflicts, or infrastructure replacements. However, experts are exploring an innovative concept of 'upcycling' old, broken concrete into a new, robust, and workable form of concrete by integrating a secret ingredient - graphene.

This pioneering technique involves using graphene solutions on recycled aggregates, resulting in a concrete mixture that showcases potential strength and durability, surpassing untreated recycled aggregates commonly used in cement-based blends.

The utilization of this approach holds promise, especially as graphene deposits are continually being discovered and mined, which could potentially drive down the cost of the raw material, countering the rising expenses of cement and aggregates.

The urgency for such methods stems from the impending waste crisis, with projections indicating a surge in demolition and construction waste, reaching nearly 2.6 billion tonnes globally by 2030. Simultaneously, the production of concrete contributes significantly to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and ecological impacts during extraction.

By enhancing the quality of recycled concrete aggregates, this innovation not only elevates the overall quality and performance of recycled concrete but also reduces its environmental footprint.

Dr. Aliakbar Gholampour from Flinders University, the lead author of the study published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling, underscores the potential of this approach, emphasizing the rapid decline in production costs when considering circularity and material life cycles.

The success of this novel method not only holds promise in waste reduction but also addresses the escalating demand for sustainable building materials worldwide.

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Tags: concrete, recycling, Graphene, sustainable

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