Clarkson professor receives $30,000 grant for research into 'green' cement
Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:05 pm

POTSDAM -- Clarkson University assistant professor Sulapha Peethamparan recently received a $30,000 grant from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute for her research on cement-free "green" concrete.

The grant is part of an effort by the institute to focus on applied research designed to stimulate solutions that will help companies remain competitive while reducing their environmental footprint.

“This funding is designed to further stimulate research efforts and develop innovative solutions in the broad categories of sustainability and pollution prevention," said Anahita Williamson, director at the institute.

Projects were selected based on the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of businesses in an effective and economical way.

"Traditional concrete is made by mixing Portland cement, water and aggregate," said Peethamparan. "The resulting product is a stable infrastructure material when exposed to water. In my research, I am investigating the stability of a new 'greener' cement-free concrete (CFC), when exposed to water."

The CFC is formulated by mixing a strong alkali solution, industrial byproduct fly ash and aggregate, without using any cement.

Peethamparan will expose the CFC to water to evaluate its stability. The dissolved ion concentrations of the water in contact with CFC will be analyzed periodically to check the concentration of the heavy metals or other metallic ions leaching out of the CFC.

"I hope that the preliminary data generated in this study will be useful in deciding the suitability CFC for water retaining structures, foundations and other infrastructures that may be in contact with water," said Peethamparan.