If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third-largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world with up to 2.8bn tonnes, surpassed only by China and the US,” reports The Guardian.
The article goes on to mention that over the past 60 years, we have produced 8bn tonnes of plastic, but what’s worse? The cement industry churns out twice that amount every two years! While cement continues to remain the go-to material due to its affordability and durability, it’s carbon footprint is devastating to the environment.
Cement produces eight percent of the world’s carbon dioxide according to the London-based NGO Chatham House that analyses and promotes the understanding of major international issues.
A 27-year-old Civil Engineer from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh had the same worries at the back of his head. This led him to develop a transparent concrete that partially utilizes industrial waste in the place of cement. This switch helps in reducing CO2 emissions by reducing cement consumption and can reduce electricity bills by 30 percent.
Ramansh Bajpai, currently pursuing his Masters in Environmental Science from Harcourt Butler Technical University (HBTU), Kanpur, has developed this eco-friendly alternative as part of his final year project.
Cement: As the optical fiber is only responsible for the transmission of light, there is no special cement required. So, ordinary Portland cement is used for transparent concrete.
Sand: Since the transparent concrete is manufactured only using fine materials, the size of sand should pass through 1.18mm sieve. The sand should be free from any impurities such as vegetation, large stones, etc.
Water: Water to be used for transparent concrete should be of drinking water quality, free from any impurities.
Optical fibers: Optical fibers in the range of 4 to 5% by volume is used for transparent concrete. The thickness of the optical fibers can be varied between 2 µm and 2 mm to suit the particular requirements of light transmission.
Many decorative transparent materials are available in the market, but they are mostly made by fibers that are not fire-resistant. This transparent concrete can withstand much higher temperatures. In case of a fire, only the plastic optical fibers may be damaged but not the wall or building.
Ramansh’s invention fulfills the criteria of being a cheaper and greener alternative to cement. Using transparent concrete is a viable solution to the problem of cement emitting carbon dioxide and contributing to greenhouse gases. The construction material can also be used in low-cost housing schemes.
Virtue Industries hope that Ramansh’s futuristic invention, transparent concrete paves the way for a green future in the construction sector.
Modern additives modify precisely that timespan; however, the amount of additive added to the mix is very important. Virtue Industries manufactures ready-mix concrete under high-end expert supervision to ensure high-quality end products.