Ancient Roman Concrete Reveals Secret to Cutting Carbon Emissions

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe chemical secrets of a concrete Roman breakwater that has spent the last 2,000 years submerged in the Mediterranean Sea have been uncovered by an international team of researchers led by a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.Analysis of the samples pinpointed why the best Roman concrete was superior to most modern concrete in durability, why its manufacture was less environmentally damaging – and how these improvements could be adopted in the modern world.“It’s not that modern concrete isn’t good – it’s so good we use 19 billion tons of it a year,” says Paulo Monteiro of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “The problem is that manufacturing Portland cement accounts for seven percent of the carbon dioxide that industry puts into the air.” Portland cement is the source of the “glue” that holds most modern concrete together. But making it releases carbon from burning fuel, needed to heat a mix of limestone and clays to 1,450 degrees Celsius (2,642 degrees Fahrenheit) – and from the heated limestone (calcium carbonate) itself. Monteiro’s team found that the Romans, by contrast, used much less lime and made it from limestone baked at 900˚ C (1,652˚ F) or lower, requiring far less fuel than Portland cement.Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is one powerful incentive for finding a better way to provide the concrete the world needs; another is the need for stronger, longer-lasting buildings, bridges, and other structures.“In the middle 20th century, concrete structures were designed to last 50 years, and a lot of them are on borrowed time,” Monteiro says. “Now we design buildings to last 100 to 120 years.” Yet Roman harbor installations have survived 2,000 years of chemical attack and wave action underwater.How the Romans did itThe Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated – incorporating water molecules into its structure – and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.Descriptions of volcanic ash have survived from ancient times. First Vitruvius, an engineer for the Emperor Augustus, and later Pliny the Elder recorded that the best maritime concrete was made with ash from volcanic regions of the Gulf of Naples (Pliny died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that buried Pompeii), especially from sites near today’s seaside town of Pozzuoli. Ash with similar mineral characteristics, called pozzolan, is found in many parts of the world.Using experimental facilities from UC Berkeley, Saudi Arabia and Germany, they found that Roman concrete from Pozzuoli differs from the modern kind in several essential ways. One is the kind of glue that binds the concrete’s components together, with the Roman mineral mix producing an exceptionally stable binder. The results revealed a mineral mix with potential applications for high-performance concretes, including the encapsulation of hazardous wastes.“For us, pozzolan is important for its practical applications,” says Monteiro. “It could replace 40 percent of the world’s demand for Portland cement. And there are sources of pozzolan all over the world. Saudi Arabia has mountains of it.”Stronger, longer-lasting modern concrete, made with less fuel and less release of carbon into the atmosphere, may be the legacy of a deeper understanding of how the Romans made their incomparable concrete.(Learn more: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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Vanderbilt-Tennessee football game needs a name

first_imgCollege football’s biggest rivalries often have nicknames, so why not Vandy-Tennessee?College football’s biggest rivalries often have nicknames, so why not Vandy-Tennessee?Interactive graphic COLLEGE FOOTBALL RIVALRY GAMES: Nicknames and trophiesThe Iron Bowl. The Egg Bowl. The Apple Cup.Many of college football’s best rivalries have nicknames for their big annual game. Here’s a pitch to add one for Vanderbilt-Tennessee.The Vols and the Commodores have played football since 1892. When the two teams meet Nov. 28 in Knoxville, it will mark game No. 110.The rivalry is one year older than the Iron Bowl, which pits Alabama against state rival Auburn. That series started in 1893 and was stopped for 41 years (it renewed in 1948). Many of the series’ games instantly earned nicknames: The latest, Kick Six (2013’s last-second Auburn win on Chris Davis’ 109-yard missed field goal return).Ole Miss and Mississippi State have played since 1901. In 1927, the winning team was awarded the Golden Egg Trophy. The student bodies of both schools named the trophy. The big brass football on the trophy more closely resembles an egg than it does today’s modern football. In 1979, Clarion-Ledger sports writer Tom Patterson gave the rivalry game the nickname.Across the country, many of the big football rivalry games have nicknames.The Governor’s Cup (or Trophy) is awarded in the Kansas-Kansas State winner, the Kentucky-Louisville winner, the Boise State-Idaho winner.Some of the rivalry games have unique nicknames to go along with their historical pasts: The Old Wagon Wheel is given to the BYU-Utah State winner; the Civil War is not held in the South; it’s the name given to the annual Oregon-Oregon State game; the Palmetto Bowl trophy is given to the winner of the South Carolina-Clemson rivalry.Did you know Indiana and Michigan State compete annually for the Old Brass Spittoon? Or that Minnesota-Wisconsin play each year for Paul Bunyan’s Axe?Vanderbilt and Tennessee have passionate fan bases. Each enjoy poking the other in our community; some often take those jabs too far on social chatboards. Could both sides come together and resolve to find a nickname for the series?North Carolina and Virginia call their annual game the South’s Oldest Rivalry. Those two teams first met on Oct. 22, 1892. Guess what happened a day earlier? Tennessee and Vanderbilt played their first game. Vanderbilt won 22-4 on Oct. 21, 1892, in Nashville.Thus, it may be time to tell North Carolina and Virginia that they are not playing in the South’s Oldest Rivalry and UT-Vandy should be called the South’s Real Oldest Rivalry.What’s a good name for the Vanderbilt-Tennessee rivalry? I’d be interested in your thoughts. For the rabid fan, try to keep the venom aside. Selected suggestions will be published in a future column; the best of the suggestions will be presented to Vols coach Butch Jones, Commodores coach Derek Mason and the two universities’ athletic departments.The Tennessean is willing to supply the trophy (or cup) for the two rivals to pass back and forth each year. But, first the game needs a name.What do you think? Send suggestions to [email protected] Dave Ammenheuser at 615-259-8352 and on Twitter @NashSportsEd.RIVALRY GAMESTennessee and Vanderbilt have played football since Oct. 21, 1892. The two teams will meet for the 110th time this November. Many of college football’s biggest rivalries have nicknames associated with their games. Here are a few:Thompson Cup: Army vs. Navy, started in 1890Paul Bunyan’s Axe: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, started in 1890Little Brown Jug: Minnesota vs. Michigan, started in 1892Rocky Mountain Showdown: Colorado vs. Colorado State, started in 1893The Iron Bowl: Auburn vs. Alabama, started in 1893Civil War: Oregon vs. Oregon State, started in 1894The Palmetto Bowl: Clemson vs. South Carolina, started in 1896Apple Cup: Washington vs. Washington State, started in 1900Egg Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State, started in 1901Golden Boot: Arkansas vs. LSU, started in 1901Governor’s Cup: Kansas vs. Kansas State, started in 1902Governor’s Cup: Louisville vs. Kentucky, started in 1912Old Brass Spittoon: Indiana vs. Michigan State, started in 1922The Old Wagon Wheel: BYU vs. Utah State, started in 1922last_img read more

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Vols RB Kelly taken to hospital after injury in practice

first_imgKNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee running back John Kelly was taken to the hospital Tuesday after getting hurt during the Volunteers’ afternoon practice.Tennessee athletic department spokesman Ryan Robinson said that Kelly was taken to the hospital for a “precautionary evaluation and was released.” Robinson didn’t specify the nature of Kelly’s injury.Kelly, a freshman from Detroit, has 21 carries for 88 yards in a reserve role this season. He recovered a fumble on a kickoff return to set up a touchdown in Tennessee’s 38-31 victory over Georgia last week.Tennessee (3-3, 1-2 SEC) has this week off before visiting No. 10 Alabama (5-1, 2-1) on Oct. 24.last_img

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