A student from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea has developed, what fellow researchers believe to be, a replacement for cement.
Developed from fly ash, which is a by-product of coal power plants, the new product is said to be greener, stronger, and more durable construction binder.
The student Dongho Jeon and his advisor, Professor Jae Eun Oh, have now sold the rights to the new product to Hawoo Eco-friendly Construction Materials Co, Ltd. In a deal that netted them R1.22-million and ongoing royalties of UNIST equal to 1.5% of the total revenue generated from the product.
The process uses a chemical reaction to form the chemical compound calcium carbonate (CaCO₃), which in turn makes the fly ash five times stronger than any previous fly ash binders.
“The new cement binder technology exhibits high intensity even with short curing times, therefore achieving both price competitiveness and lightness which are essential in the construction field,” says Professor Oh.