Scientists have created a new light-emitting cement that could last a hundred years and illuminate roads, highways or bicycle lanes at night by absorbing solar energy during the day.
´The main issue was that cement is an opaque body that doesn´t allow the passage of light to its interior,´ said Jose Carlos Rubio, from Michoacan´s University of San Nicolas Hidalgo (UMSNH) in Mexico. Rubio explained that common cement is a dust that when added to water dissolves like an effervescent pill. ´In that moment it starts to become a gel, similar to the one used for hair styling, but much stronger and resistant; at the same time, some crystal flakes are formed, these are unwanted sub-products in hardened cement,´ Rubio said.
Due to this, researchers focused on modifying the micro-structure of the cement in order to eliminate crystals and make it completely gel, helping it to absorb solar energy and then return it to the environment as light.