It’s not every day you get to hold a piece of the future in your hands. Today is an exception. Rob and I work on the Nixene Journal at the new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) in Manchester, UK and we took a little time out to see the latest innovation.
This small grey cube in Rob’s hands is a sample of concrete made with graphene.
The GEIC is where industry meets academia. A GEIC tier one industrial partner is First Graphene Ltd, they have found that adding a fraction of a percent of graphene to cement improves the compressive strength by well over 30%.
A further study of the peer reviewed literature showed that an average of 26% improvement in compressive strength across a range of graphene oxide samples and concrete mixes.
This means architects can use at least a quarter less concrete when creating new buildings.
Chatham house is an independent world-leading policy institute. They have examined sources of greenhouse gases, of which Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is an important component. They examined global cement production and found that every year over 4 billion tonnes of cement are produced, contributing to around 8 per cent of global CO2emissions.
If the global construction industry was to adopt this technology tomorrow then 25% less cement would need to be made. This in turn would mean a potential reduction in global CO2emissions of 2% just from this one application.
This is why we think we are holding a piece of the future in our hands. The GEIC really is an exciting place to work.