Self-luminous concrete: environmentally friendly and sustainable

Self-luminous concrete for use in lighting roads and pavements has been developed by four female undergraduate construction engineers in the Middle East.

Zainab Mahmoud, Fatma Elnefaly, Mayar Khairy, and Menna Soliman, worked on the self-luminous concrete for their thesis graduation project at The American University in Cairo (AUC). The project focused on the two themes of sustainability and safety and was in response to common criticism of concrete’s detrimental effects on the environment, Ms Mahmoud said.

“The idea of our research came from wanting to make an integral construction material like concrete more sustainable and environmentally friendly in both its creation and function,” she explained.

The self-luminous concrete is capable of absorbing sunlight and emitting light after dark was developed by the students under the supervision of Professor Mohamed Nagib AbouZeid of the Department of Construction and Engineering at AUC.

“The concrete helps to reduce the massive amount of energy used in lighting highways or street signals needed for safe rides,” he said.

The development process involved extensive procurement and testing of materials to determine their effect on concrete, the team said, as well as using locally available materials. Ms Mahmoud also said the project aligned with Egypt’s sustainability goals. The country will host the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November 2022.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.