Cement that generates electricity on contact

By Mike Hayes01 December 2021

Researchers announce development of eco-friendly structural material that harvests energy

A team of researchers in South Korea have developed a cement-based building material that can generate and store electricity through contact.

Smart City Credit Adobe Image

The cement-based conductive composite (CBC) contains carbon fibres with the ability to act as triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), able to ‘harvest’ energy from things like human motion (footsteps) or the impact forces of wind and rain.

Research teams from Incheon National University, Kyung Hee University and Korea University, who jointly developed the material, say CBC has the potential to reduce the carbon emissions of buildings and save energy.

Under test conditions, it was found that a 1% volume of conductive fibres within the cement mixture gives it optimal electrical properties while retaining the physical properties required for use as a building material.

Seung-Jung Lee, a professor in the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, told the science journal Nano Energy, “We wanted to develop a structural energy material that could be used to build net-zero energy structures that use and produce their own electricity.

“Our ultimate goal was to develop materials that made the lives of people better and did not need any extra energy to save the planet. And we expect that the findings from this study can be used to expand the applicability of CBC as an all-in-one energy material for net-zero energy structures.”

Delivered directly to your inbox, World Construction Week Newsletter features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.
Longer Reads
Can machine learning help mend the contracting system?
How artificial intelligence can help contractors more accurately estimate the length and cost of construction projects
Investing in workforce wearables on construction sites
Exoskeletons can increase worker productivity and comfort, but there are issues to be avoided 
Does engineering design matter for Asia’s future infrastructure investments?
Asia’s future infrastructure is facing increasing scrutiny of its sustainability, constructability, bankability, and resilience
Andy Brown Editor, International Construction Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 224 E-mail: andy.brown@khl.com
Simon Kelly Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 223 E-mail: simon.kelly@khl.com