Cement-free future for Iceland thanks to Eyjafjallajökull volcano?

A new cement substitute made from volcanic ash could potentially see cement become obsolete in Iceland.

This is the hope of a research team working to make a domestic concrete mix based around volcanic ash.

The so-called concrete division of the Icelandic Innovation Centres is behind the project aimed at making a marketable and economical product which could largely see cement become unnecessary.

According to project manager Sunna Ó. Wallevik, cement-free concrete is much more environmentally friendly than traditional concrete because its production does not produce carbon dioxide. Cement production is a very big producer of the greenhouse gas.

“The goal of the project is really to develop an Icelandic version of environmentally-friendly concrete made from certain geographical polymers instead of normal cement.” the ash contains both aluminium and silica.

Sunna says that the ash for the concrete has been collected from the foot of Eyjafjallajökull and that although the project is in full swing, it could still be two to three years before the final product is released onto the market, RÚV reports.

“The first trials have been very successful and we have achieved a very good mix and good results; so we are very positive that we can finish this project.”

(Photos: Ágúst Rafnsson)

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