Composite Materials & Engineering Center Cementitious & Bituminous Materials News

Researchers improve cement with shrimp shell nanoparticles

Putting nanoparticles from shrimp shells into cement paste made the material significantly stronger — an innovation that could lead to reduced seafood waste and lower carbon emissions from concrete production.

Reporting in the journal Cement and Concrete Composites, a team of Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers created nanocrystals and nanofibers of chitin, the second most abundant biopolymer in nature, from waste shrimp shells. When these tiny bits of chitin, which are about 1,000 times smaller than a human hair, were added to cement paste, the resulting material was up to 40% stronger. [Read more…]

PACCAR Environmental Technology Building dedicated

Building tours, a reception and music from the WSU Cougar Marching Band were part of the dedication of the new PACCAR Environmental Technology Building at Washington State University on Thursday, May 5. WSU Regents, industry supporters, students, faculty and staff attended.  Read more…

Ashraf Alam and Liv Haselbach have received a $20,000 Portland Cement Association (PCA) Fellowship

pcaAshraf Alam and Liv Haselbach have received a $20,000 Portland Cement Association (PCA) Fellowship for work entitled “Model Development for Carbon Sequestration for Pavement Infrastructures.” This is one of two fellowships that were awarded this year. Ashraf is a PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department with a structural and sustainability focus. The award was presented by Jennifer Hitch, of the Northwest Regional Office of the PCA.

Ashraf will be performing testing on old pavement specimens taken from applications around the country using the TGA in the analytical lab at CMEC to determine … » More …

Concrete as a Carbon Sink

Concrete Technology: The topic of global climate change is frequently in the news. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that the increase in the concentration of many compounds in the atmosphere will impact global climate. The most notable of the long-lived greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Using concrete for building structures and infrastructure can contribute to the emission of carbon dioxide. Almost all construction processes from manufacturing, through transportation of materials and installation use energy, and much of this energy may come from the burning of fossil fuels. What most people do not realize is that the release of … » More …