Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Concrete Plans for Global Warming

PostedFebruary 18, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  Cement production requires lots of heat.  In fact, it generates five to ten percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions, the gas of chief concern in global warming.  

Franz-Josef Ulm:  The question may be do you really have to heat it up to those temperatures?

Randy Atkins:  Franz-Josef Ulm, an MIT engineer, has discovered how concrete's tiniest particles pack and stick together.  He hopes those microscopic structures may be a key to making cement more efficiently.

Franz-Josef Ulm:  The smallest improvement which we make in this material by nano-engineering has an enormous impact.

Randy Atkins:  Ulm says the research might even lead to an entirely new material to replace concrete.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.