SAN MARCOS, Texas — Did you know that the making of concrete can be harmful to the air we breathe?

Dr. Fred Aguayo of the Department of Engineering at Texas State University says the production of the construction material is where the harmful emissions originate.

“Most would say about six to eight percent CO2 emission is being produced from the production of concrete alone,” says Dr. Aguayo. 

That reason is a big force in his research to find a suitable replacement for the main ingredient to concrete — Portland Cement powder. The mixing and making of the powder is where the emissions stem from.

“Concrete is not at all a big contributor to CO2 emissions, its the scale of it’s use. That’s why we have a high CO2 emission problem with this material,” adds Aguayo.

The more concrete that is used, the more that has to be made, the more emissions that are sent in the air that we breathe.

Dr. Aguayo and his team are looking for ways to replace Portland Cement powder with something that is just as durable and less harmful, but there’s no name that is set in stone for the new ingredient.

The work he and his team are doing will take years to know if the solutions they are mixing will stand the test of time, but Dr. Aguayo says the work does look promising.

His team has been working with TxDOT to see if the solution could be used on a wider scale.

In the meantime, TxDOT told KXAN: “We use additive in asphalt to produce the asphalt at a lower temperature — which means less emissions.”

More information on TxDOTs greener methods can be found here. For more information on Dr. Aguayo’s work, click here.