Scientists from Michoacan University of Saint Nicolas of Hidalgo (UMSNH), Mexico, have created a new light-emitting cement that could last a 100 years and illuminate roads, highways and bicycle lanes for as long as 12 hours in the night. The cement absorbs solar energy during the day and returns it to the environment during night as light.
The cement at present is available in blue and green colour, the light intensity of which can be regulated to avoid dazzling drivers. “The main issue was that cement is an opaque body that does not allow light to pass to its interior,” said Jose Carlos Rubio from UMSNH. When water is added to common cement it starts to form a gel wherein some unwanted crystal flakes are also formed.
Researchers therefore focused on modifying the micro-structure of the cement in order to eliminate these crystals and transform it into a gel so that it can absorb solar energy.