Building from old buildings: demolition waste is being turned into new concrete

Concrete can perform just as well if three-quarters of its content has been recycled, a team has found. Concrete is made from granular materials such as sand and crushed stone – known as aggregates – bound together by a cement paste. Cement has a high carbon footprint due to the chemistry of its production and … Read more

Mediterranean wineries are in a climate hotspot. Climatologists are helping them adapt

From the possible demise of Merlot grapes in Bordeaux to loss of olive trees in north Africa, the impacts of climate change will be felt by farmers across the Mediterranean region, say climatologists. To help the region’s agricultural producers cope with shifting weather patterns, and make strategic decisions now for the future, scientists are researching … Read more

How the ‘physical internet’ could revolutionise the way goods are moved

Shipping goods from furniture to food could be transformed by a new transport network called the ‘physical internet.’ It is built on similar principles to the internet, which revolutionised the way information flows around the word, including open access and global interconnectedness. Researchers hope to make it a reality by 2040, when a fully autonomous network … Read more

To confront climate change, we need to understand the environmental footprint of global supply chains

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic upended international trade. Countries shut their borders, breaking the webs of supply chains that crisscross the globe. These systems of people, organisations and companies work to supply consumers with products, such as mobile phones, or services, like transportation. While some supply chains have since returned to a semblance of normality, understanding their … Read more

Unravelling the when, where and how of volcanic eruptions

There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide and about 50 eruptions occur each year. But it’s still difficult to predict when and how these eruptions will happen or how they’ll unfold. Now, new insight into the physical processes inside volcanoes are giving scientists a better understanding of their behaviour, which could help protect the 1 billion people … Read more

Buildings, tunnels and bridges could soon repair themselves

Stone and concrete structures with the ability to heal themselves in a similar way to living organisms when damaged could help to make buildings safer and last longer. Over time the weather, vibration, ground movements and general wear and tear can take their toll on the masonry and concrete used in buildings. But keeping buildings in … Read more