An engineering and materials science professor at Rutgers University has created an eco-friendly, lightweight concrete using reactive hydrothermal liquid-phase densification (rHLPD), a process that models the generative design behavior of shellfish, to create organic ceramics while submerged in water. 

The technology enables composite material reactions at lower temperatures and can be applied to pure ceramics and ceramic metallic and polymer compounds for manufacturing building materials for construction and infrastructure. Much of the development around concrete today focuses on CO2 sequestration. The formula sequesters CO2 within the material, and will also absorb CO2 post-production (though additional research is needed to determine just how much can be absorbed).

The formulation reduces cement’s and concrete’s carbon footprint by 70 percent. It has been formed into cinder blocks, roofing tiles and hollow core slabs. If the process is scalable, it could further the development of green alternatives to supply the $1 trillion global market for concrete.