Rice University researchers have uncovered a promising alternative to sand in concrete – graphene derived from metallurgical coke, a coal-based product.
This discovery addresses the environmental challenges associated with the concrete industry and offers a potential solution to the growing ‘sand crisis’ that threatens ecosystems globally.
The concrete conundrum
The world’s increasing reliance on concrete, the second most consumed material globally, has led to an environmental and resource crisis. Sand mining, a crucial component in concrete production, has surpassed natural replenishment rates, posing a significant threat to ecosystems.
James Tour, T. T. and W. F. Chao, Professor at Rice University, emphasize the gravity of the situation, stating, “This could have a major impact on one of the biggest industries in the world.”