Elements: Organic Cement and Concrete: From the Romans to Mars

February 08, 2023

Portland cement represents an essential commodity in a developing and quickly urbanizing world. However, the downside of its popularity is a massive ecological footprint, in terms of global warming potential and consumption of mineral and water resources. Therefore, the development of sustainable alternatives to ordinary Portland cement constitutes a fundamental technological and societal challenge. In this context, mineralogy and geochemistry play an important role in assessing primary and secondary resources for a new generation of cement and concrete that has a reduced ecological footprint, drawing from the knowledge of both ancient and modern binders. Mineralogical and geochemical tools are also essential to establishing a link between the basic physical and chemical processes that occur during the production, hardening, service life, and degradation of concrete.

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