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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

A-State professor receives grants to study eco-friendly concrete alternatives

JONESBORO, Ark- One professor and graduate students at Arkansas State University are experimenting with using recycled material in concrete. Leading to something that could change the future of construction down the road.

The group is using fly ash as an alternate concrete material versus a traditional concrete mixture and will study its endurance and strength. Paving the way for an eco-friendly pavement mixture in the future.

“And the students will study whether their formula they created and worked with a local concrete company to mix and pour is going to work the same way in the real world. Versus what they did in the laboratory,” says Bill Smith, A-State chief communications officer.

The two grants from the Arkansas Department of Transportation total roughly $220,000 and fund the experiment.

The students poured a regular concrete mixture next to the experimental material in a hundred cubic feet and cubic yards area on-campus, near the student union, and will test and compare each one.

If successful, it would help reduce the concrete industry's carbon footprint.

“This could be a major cost-saving for those who have to pour concrete. It’s also an environmental saving because you’re taking elements out of a landfill,” he says.

The experimental topic has been the focus of studies to find alternatives to conventional concrete mixtures.

Smith says this is part of real-world hands-on opportunities the university is offering its students.

Helping set them up for a career in engineering.

“For those in civil engineering who will be building roads, building bridges, building our infrastructure. Which, of course, has become extremely important to every American right now with the new infrastructure bill. This is training those future engineers that will be out there executing those plans that are coming for our nation,” Smith said.

If successful, they plan to expand and could pour additional concrete using the eco-friendly mixture across campus.


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