Alkali-Activated Slag Cements as a Sustainable Building Material

EPA Grant Number: SU834350
Title: Alkali-Activated Slag Cements as a Sustainable Building Material
Investigators: Barsoum, Michel , Moseson, Alexander J. , Sakulich, Aaron , Radlinska, Aleksandra , Mucha, Jamie
Current Investigators: Barsoum, Michel , Shook, Joseph E. , Moseson, Alexander J. , Sakulich, Aaron , Crook, Abraham , Radlinska, Aleksandra , Terpeluk, Alexandra , Mucha, Jamie
Institution: Drexel University , Villanova University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2009 through August 14, 2010
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


The portland cement industry is responsible for approximately 5% of global greenhouse gas production. Therefore, the further development of an alkali-activated cement based on an industrial waste product (slag) is proposed. This cement product will be carbon neutral, but competitive with portland cement in cost and performance, have a longer life, and be more accessible to developing communities. The use of slag as a cementitious material will translate to a reduction of greenhouse gases that will benefit the long-term health and wellness of world citizens and the environment by mitigating damage to global climate and ecosystems. The production of alkali-activated slag cements would require little fossil fuel, reducing pollutants and increasing domestic energy independence, while increasing demand for an industrial waste product, helping build prosperity, and reducing the need for landfills. Freeze-thaw behavior, strength, and permeability are factors which need to be better characterized before such materials can find widespread acceptance, and this project aims to directly address them.


Mechanical and chemical characterization of alkali-activated slag cements will be performed using standard methods (as defined either by ASTM or common practice in the literature.) Practical uses of these materials will be demonstrated via prototype structural elements and the data will be disseminated via refereed journal articles. Precollege, undergraduate, and graduate students will be invited to continue contributing to and learning about this work, engendering concepts of sustainability.

Expected Results:

The overall goal of this project is to develop and characterize alkali-activated slag cements with minimal carbon footprints, as well as to answer scientific questions that have yet to be satisfactorily addressed by prior research. These questions include the final disposition of alkali ions and long term performance and durability in a service environment.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 4 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

pollution prevention, ambient air, atmosphere, green chemistry, alternatives, sustainable development, renewable, waste reduction, waste minimization;

Relevant Websites:

Phase 2 Abstract

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report
  • P3 Phase II:

    Alkali-Activated Cement (AAC) as a Sustainable Building Material  | 2011 Progress Report  | Final Report