From: Michael Reilly, Discovery News
Published July 7, 2009 10:55 AM

Rice Concrete Cuts Greenhouse Emissions

A new way of processing rice husks for use in concrete could lead to a boom in green construction.

Rice husks form small cases around edible kernels of rice and are rich in silicon dioxide (SiO2), an essential ingredient in concrete. Scientists have recognized the potential value of rice husks as a building material for decades, but past attempts to burn it produced an ash too contaminated with carbon to be useful as a cement substitute.

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The world's penchant for consuming concrete is a huge problem for climate change. Every ton of cement manufactured for use in concrete emits a ton of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Worldwide, cement production accounts for about 5 percent of all CO2 emissions related to human activity.

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