A new study by Lancaster University‘s B-SMART program aims to find out whether incorporating root vegetables like carrots, beets, and Radishes into cement could help create a stronger and more sustainable building material. The hope is that this could provide a use for a lot of agricultural and commercial food waste, while also creating greener building materials. Concrete currently has the negative distinction of off-gassing a lot of CO2 during its production. In fact, the production of concrete currently accounts for 8% of CO2 emissions worldwide.
Along with helping the earth, this could be a boon to the construction industry. Many builders are currently struggling to find greener materials that have been mandated by new manufacturing laws.
The study is being run by Professor Mohamed Saafi, the lead researcher at Lancaster University. He had this to say on why this could work out better than you might think:
“When root vegetable nano-platelets, such as those found in beets and carrots, are introduced into concrete, the composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and micro-structure properties but also use smaller amounts of cement.”
Initial tests have shown the composite material to be longer-lasting, while having a less corrosive body and denser micro-structure.