27 Dec '11, 9pm

Students pin hopes on a concrete breakthrough with algae

SINGAPORE - Concrete road kerbs and drains could be made with algae instead of sand, if a group of Singapore Polytechnic students' final year project becomes commercially viable. The School of Architecture and the Built Environment students found that a mix of algae and cement is strong enough for non-load bearing structures such as precast concrete drain sections, wheel stoppers in car parks and wall partitions. And the students' finding might potentially be the construction industry's silver bullet, given recent bans on sand exports by neighbouring countries and the emphasis on sustainable construction methods. Compared to sand, algae is freely available from water catchment areas here and is more environmentally-friendly. "The alkaline chemical in cement affects the skin and breathing in too much of cement particles makes your lung harden. Wet algae reduces these harmfu...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC111228-0000036/St...

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