Harvard, MIT researchers peg cement + carbon energy storage prospects

Sources: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; CP staff An investigation based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has revealed the potential of portland cement, water and carbon black, a common industrial mineral resembling ultrafine charcoal, to create a supercapacitor material suited to low-cost storage of energy derived from solar, wind and tidal power sources. MIT and Harvard University researchers see the…

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Climate and Sustainability Consortium (MCSC), launched late last month, convenes an alliance of leaders from a broad range of industries and aims to drive solutions addressing climate change threats. Organizers characterize the group as uniting “similarly motivated, highly creative and influential companies to work with MIT to build a process, market, and ambitious implementation strategy…

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Life-cycle perspective backs report on critical issues in building practices


A new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-hosted Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), Critical Issues When Comparing Whole Building and Building Product Environmental Performance, addresses key concepts in quantifying the environmental impact of buildings and products comprising them. It also makes recommendations for current and future building practices using life cycle assessment (LCA), and offers suggestions for research to advance future study and practice.

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Pavement, materials specialist named Concrete Sustainability Hub co-director

Sources: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; CP staff

An engineer who researches the environmental and economic implications of materials selection in the manufacture and lifespan of products, Randolph Kirchain has been named co-director of the MIT-hosted Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) alongside Franz-Joseph Ulm, professor of Civil Engineering.

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MIT researchers model stronger cement on theory behind Corning Gorilla Glass

Sources: Concrete Sustainability Hub at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Corning Inc., New York; CP staff

Borrowing from a ‘rigidity theory’ that has led Corning Inc. engineers to the high performance Gorilla Glass—its toughness in thin sections equal to smartphone and laptop computer screens—the Concrete Sustainability Hub is studying potential portland cement reformulation aimed at higher fracture resistance than current ASTM C 150 product.

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Life-cycle data specialist takes helm at CSHub


An engineer who studies materials’ economic and environmental implications, recycling and end-of-life recovery, Jeremy Gregory has been named executive director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-hosted Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub), succeeding Hamlin Jennings.

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PCA: Higher building standards align with Obama Climate Action Plan

Sources: Portland Cement Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

PCA and other concrete industry interests are urging enactment of H.R. 2241, the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013, providing $25,000 and $3,000 tax credits, respectively, to business or home owners who rebuild in declared federal disaster areas.

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