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Mexican researchers create equal alternative to cement using waste products

Papaloapan, Oaxaca — Researchers in Oaxaca have created a new alternative to cement, saying it is just as resilient and could replace cement in buildings, reducing industrial waste.

Researchers from the University of Papaloapan in Oaxaca say they have created an alternative material to cement using waste from paper recycling, coal, marbling and unicel industries, as well as of ash from sugarcane.

The project, which was led by Martha Poisot, used the materials which, being more economical and more resistant, could replace cement in buildings as an alternative to the use of cement.

Mexican scientists say the product is called Polymeric Ash System (PAS) and that they are looking for capital to establish their first production plant with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of industrial waste.

The specialist in the field of chemical sciences presented their development in the First National Forum of Science, Technology and Innovation 2018. According to the Mexican Academy of Sciences, Martha Poisot’s team has developed prototype blocks of 50 by 50 centimeters.

Among the tests performed is the measurement of temperature with respect to cement. They reported that the material is a thermal insulator that also conserves energy, so houses built with the material will not need to use as much heating or air conditioning.

The material is light and has plasticity, which makes it useful for aesthetic purposes. However, it can also be used with steel, which makes it useful for structural issues.

“We receive the waste material and in a single step, in a kind chemical reaction, we convert the organic matter with the binder into hydrophobic cellulose compatible with the cane ash, with the marble industry, thermoelectric, and even the unicel that is used to store food and products,” she explained.

Their project was supported by the National Council of Science and Technology through the Fund for Scientific Development Projects to Address National Problems.