A proposed aggregate-binding agent that reportedly imparts higher strength characteristics in concrete, and whose production might yield half the carbon dioxide emissions of portland cement, has earned its developers a $100,000 business start-up grant.
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Sources: Massaschusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; CP files
By Don Marsh
A proposed aggregate-binding agent that reportedly imparts higher strength characteristics in concrete, and whose production might yield half the carbon dioxide emissions of portland cement, has earned its developers a $100,000 business start-up grant. MIT Sloan School of Management Masters of Business Administration candidate Natanel Barookhian and MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering doctoral candidate Rouzbeh Shasavari, founders of C-Crete Technologies, took the top prize in the school’s annual Entrepreneurship Competition. They bested five other finalists from an initial pool upward of 200 entries in the MIT Entrepreneurs Club- and Sloan New Ventures Association-sponsored program.
The world has been looking for simple, scalable solutions to reduce the global carbon footprint, says the idealistic Barookhian. C-Crete Technologies [has] developed a method for tackling this issue by targeting the production of cement, one of the most widely used materials on earth, while improving all of its core properties. We believe our technology will make a significant impact on the world.
C-Crete is based on nanotechnology, which for cement was advanced in 2009 by MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering Department observations. In a report to the National Academies of Science, Professor Franz Josef-Ulm noted how nano-scale study of calcium silicate hydrate, a key compound of a green or hardened concrete matrix, indicated potential for formulating significantly higher performance structures than derived from current practice. Professor Ulm followed the report by helping Portland Cement Association and RMC Research and Education Foundation launch the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub. While acting as interim director, he has overseen a charter Hub project, Liquid Stone, where investigators aim to leverage nanotechnology to manipulate cement’s molecular structure toward a greener concrete.