Illuminating Innovation of Glow-in-the-Dark Cement
Currently under development in Mexico’s Michoacan’s University of San Nicolas Hidalgo (MSNH) is a new kind of glow-in-the-dark, solar powered cement that is able to absorb solar energy and then radiate it back into the night sky in the form of light. From footpaths to highways, it could have some very interesting applications.
Typically, cement is a fairly dull material. A binder that when mixed with water begins to form a gel. Along with this comes an undesirable by-product of crystal-like flakes. For the research team, modifying the micro-structure of cement allows it to form a more pure gel. Along with this, the improved gel composition is able to absorb solar energy during the day and emit it back for up to 12 hours during the night.
A drawback of most glow-in-the-dark materials is that they are composed of plastics and have a short lifespan of around 3 years at most because they decay under exposure to UV light. José Rubio, the innovator behind the material however says that this new kind of cement can last up to 100 years.
Rubio has gained plenty of acclaim as a result of this patented innovation, receiving recognition from the Newton fund, given by the Royal Engineering Academy of London, which selects global success cases in technology and entrepreneurship.
He is currently looking to develop this cement further for use in plaster and other building products.