Re-recycling: Biofuel waste used to make stronger concrete

|  April 22, 2013 |

The ash from burnt corn stalks and leaves, a byproduct of producing biofuel, is used in a new stronger formula of concrete.

The ash from burnt corn stalks and leaves, a byproduct of producing biofuel, is used in a new stronger formula of concrete.

Researchers at Kansas State University have discovered that by replacing a portion of the cement found in concrete with agricultural waste products, the concrete became stronger.

Just think of the process as recycling the byproducts of recycling. To make the stronger concrete, the researchers are use the ash produced when corn stalks and leaves, wheat straw, and rice straw are burnt to produce biofuel, according to Design News.

After pre-treating the ash the team replaced 20 percent of the cement by mass in the test concrete. Afterward, the concrete’s strength increased by 32 percent.

Moving forward, the supply of the ash used in this new formula should only increase. The production of the biofuel cellulosic ethanol is only expected to increase in the coming years which means the ash that results from its production will grow as well.

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