Highways with Glow in The Dark Concrete

To lighting roads, highways or bicycle paths without electricity, Dr. José Carlos Rubio San Nicolas Hidalgo, University of Michoacan, UMSNH, Spain, has created a Glow in The Dark Concrete with a lifetime of 100 years.

“When I started this project nine years ago, I realized that there was nothing similar in the world. So I started to study it. The main problem is that cement is an opaque object that does not allow light to pass through its interior.” Dr. Bio’s said.

Yellow-Green glow in the dark powder

He explained that ordinary cement is a type of dust that dissolves into effervescent pills when it is added to water. “At that time, it began to turn into a gel, similar to the one used for hair styling, but it was more robust; at the same time, crystal formation – these are unwanted by-products in hardened cement.”

To solve this problem, researchers focused on improving the microstructure of cement to eliminate crystals and make them fully gelled, helping them absorb solar energy and return it to the environment as light.

Rubio said that in 2015, global cement production was about 4 billion tons. This is where this new material can find a wide commercial market. During the day, any building, road, highway or structure made out of this new cement can absorb solar energy and emit it during the night for around 12 hours.

Rubio detailed that most glow in the dark materials are made out of plastic and have an average of three years of life because they decay over time with exposure to UV rays; this new cement is sun resistant and has an estimated lifespan of 100 years.

Furthermore, it is ecological because the gel is made out of sand, dust or clay, and during manufacture, the only residue is water steam. Currently, Glow in The Dark Concrete exists in blue or green color, and the light intensity can be regulated to avoid dazzling drivers or cyclists.

This Mexican project inspired other countries to carry out this research. “Because of this patent (the first patent of this university), others have surfaced around the world. In the UK, we received recognition from the Newton Fund provided by the Royal Institute of Technology in London, which selected technology and entrepreneurship. Global success stories. ”

At present, this research is at the stage of transfer and commercialization. It is included in the plaster and other construction products are also under development.