$225K EPA grant moves recycled glass cement substitute toward market

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CP staff

On the heels of research detailed in its “Value-Added Use of Milled Mixed-Color Waste Glass as a Supplementary Cementitious Material in Environmentally Friendly and Energy-Efficient Concrete Building Construction” report, Lansing, Mich.-based Technova Corp. is among 10 recipients sharing $2.25 million in grants under the EPA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The report centers on first phase research, partially funded with a $70,000 “proof of concept” SBIR award. A $225,000 grant will cover a second phase aimed at implementation and commercialization of the concrete technology. When milled to the particle size of cement and used at a cement substitution rate of 20 percent, Technova investigators find the glass powder improves finished concrete’s moisture barrier qualities, durability, and mechanical performance.

They credit improvements to beneficial chemical reactions of milled waste glass and cement hydrates, yielding chemically stable products capable of refining the concrete pore system.

Technova researchers also cite the potential for their technology in concrete mixtures with demolition concrete-derived aggregate, whose cement hydrates exhibit higher reactivity with recycled glass powder than mixes bearing virgin aggregate. The company notes that a coalition of concrete interests, transportation agencies, along with waste management and waste glass processing firms, has formed with an eye toward commercial implementation of the technology, plus large-scale processing of milled waste glass.