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Researchers Make Concrete Stronger With Vegetables
Beets and Carrots Added to Concrete Mix


We all know that vegetables are good for us and make us stronger, but did you know that they also could make concrete stronger? Scientists in England have found a way to take tough root vegetables, like carrots and beets, and derive nano-sheets from them. These nano-sheets are added to regular concrete mix to increase strength.

Engineering researchers at Lancaster University in England have devised a way to strengthen concrete by adding 'nano platelets' that are extracted from root vegetables, like carrots and beets, to the concrete mix.

The research was funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program, a research and innovation initiative that will supply EUR80 billion worth of funding over 7 years to bolster groundbreaking advancements.

According to the university's website, this new form of improved concrete out-performs all other commercially available cement additives, such as graphene, carbon fiber, plastic, metal and even jute fibers.

Studies conducted by the research team showed that by adding the vegetable-derived nano sheets directly to regular cement mix, one cubic-meter of cement could be made from eight 50kg bags of mix. In order to produce one cubic meter of cement from mix that doesn't contain the added vegetable fibers, nine 50kg bags would normally need to be used.

Even though one less bag was used to create a single cubic meter of concrete, strength and durability remained the same. This improvement could have beneficial effects by lowering energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, because cement production accounts for 8% of total global CO2 emissions.*

Professor Mohamed Saafi, the lead researcher for the breakthrough, had this to say, "The composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and microstructure properties, but also use smaller amounts of cement. This significantly reduces both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with cement manufacturing."

* University of Lancaster website:

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September 21, 2019, 11:33 am PDT

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