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U OF NEBRASKA RESEARCHER REPORTS CONCRETE IS STRENGTHENED WHEN CORN IS ADDED, NEW MARKET OPPORTUNITY
BrownfieldAgNews reports:

University of Nebraska at Kearney researcher Mahmoud Shakouri says one of the Midwest's most common crops - corn - can improve infrastructure.

He tells Brownfield he's studying how corn stover - the cob, stalks, leaves and husks - can strengthen concrete. "When you burn these parts, you get this material that has a lot of silica in it. This silica is very reactive," Shakouri says. "When you add it to concrete it kind of reacts to some chemical processes and it reacts with cement and makes the concrete matrix denser."

Shakouri says using corn as an alternative to strengthen concrete also creates additional markets for producers. "We can use this opportunity to produce something that has more value for infrastructure and the environment. It can be more money for family farmers."

He says his process would prevent concrete from breaking down from the use of salt and anti-icing chemicals in the winter in cold-weather states. Commercial development is several years away.

"I think this is a win-win for everyone," Shakouri says.


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