Cementless fly ash binder makes concrete ‘green’


Rice University engineers have developed a composite binder made primarily of fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, that can replace Portland cement in concrete. The material is cementless and environmentally friendly, according to Rice materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari, who developed it with graduate student Sung Hoon Hwang. Fly ash binder does not require the high-temperature processing of Portland cement, yet tests showed it has the same compressive strength after seven days of curing. It also requires only a small fraction of the sodium-based activation chemicals used to harden Portland cement. The results are reported in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. Read More

By Basab Saha:India is urbanising rapidly. Every year young people from the rural areas flock to cities in search of jobs and economic opportunities. As per the 2001 Census, India’s urban population will increase to 40.7 percent of the population to 600 million by 2030, as against 28 percent in 2001. With the growing number of people living in the cities, it is imperative that changes must be made to ensure that cities can occupy and sustain the increased number of residents. To tackle the issues that arise consequent to these large-scale migrations, we need cities to get ‘smarter.’ The Prime Minister’s vision of building 100 smart cities across the nation is revolutionary and challenging at the same time. Read More

By Renaat Demeulemeester: The difference between cast and calendered film is not only the result of the manufacturing process, but also the particular ingredients added to the raw materials during manufacturing. Most vinyl films are made from the same basic raw material – polyvinylchloride (PVC) polymer – which in its unadulterated state, is hard and inflexible. In order to give PVC the necessary flexibility, a key ingredient – a plasticizer – is added into the PVC resin. Calendered vinyl is produced in a continuous process that enables highvolume, low-cost manufacturing. On the calendered line the raw materials are mixed together, extruded, and then flattened out into a thin film by passing through various heated calendered rolls. Read More

A report by Euromonitor International released in May last year suggested that the market for deodorants in India grew by an enormous 177 percent between 2011 and 2016. In 2011, deodorant sales stood at Rs 1,130 crore; by 2016 it had almost tripled to Rs 3,130 crore. The annual growth rate of the industry is pegged at 18 percent and this rate is expected to continue for another four to five years according to experts. This isn’t surprising, given India’s long-standing fascination with products that please the olfactory senses. Since ancient times, the mastery of the science of perfumery was an essential part of the art of living in India. The indigenous Indian tradition of scent in India is evident as early as 3000 BC in the cities of the Indus Valley, where archaeologists have recently excavated distillation stills. Read More