A group of researchers at Britain’s Lancaster University has been using a household food blender to mix particles from the root vegetable with concrete to see if they can produce a stronger and more environmentally sound product.
The new material – made by combining ordinary cement with nano platelets extracted from carrots tossed out by the food industry – is resistant to cracks, and stands at up to 80 percent stronger than the conventional product.
The composites are not only superior to current cement products in terms of mechanical and microstructure properties, but also use smaller amounts of cement,’ Professor Mohamed Saafi from Lancaster University’s Engineering Department said.
‘This significantly reduces both the energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with cement manufacturing.’
The addition of carrots prevent any cracks in the concrete, the team said. It also means less cement is required, therefore lowering the global carbon dioxide (CO2) output.
Cement is responsible for seven percent of total global CO2 emissions, according to International Energy Agency estimates.
In proof-of-concept studies, the researchers found that the addition of the carrot nano platelets resulted in a savings of 40kg of cement, and of carbon dioxide, per cubic square meter of concrete.