CCNY team researches unique glass powder for concrete production

In potentially transformative research for both the recycling and concrete industries, a City College of New York civil engineering team is developing a glass powder to replace cement in the production of concrete. The material conceptualized by Dr. Julio Davalos and doctoral student Marija Krstic, was tested for sidewalk construction in South Jamaica, Queens, by the New York City Department of Design and Construction on May 5.

It was the first such demonstration in the United States, according to Davalos, chair of civil engineering in City College’s Grove School of Engineering.

Davalos’ research with Krstic entails developing the new glass powder ingredient for concrete from post-consumer recycled color glass that has no value-added market.

“Cement is the binder in concrete, but its production emits an equal amount of CO2. Thus nanoscale materials (pozzolans) are used to partially replace cement and enhance concrete performance,” noted Krstic.

The most common pozzolan used is fly ash, a byproduct from coal burning plants. However, due to plant closures and conversions to natural gas, there is a severe shortage of fly ash, which makes this CCNY development significant.

“This innovation has potential for worldwide application and economic development,” said Davalos.

Louis Grasso of Urban Mining Northeast collaborated with the CCNY team.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science; Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; School of Education; Grove School of Engineering; Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine; and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.