It’s taken nine years of work, but it turns out it can be done. Scientist Jose Carlos Rubio, of Mexico’s University of San Nicolas de Hidalgo, has just patented his glow-in-the-dark cement. And what are its applications, other than looking very cool? Dr Rubio believes it could be a new way to light cities, streets and buildings without using electricity: the only thing emitted during its production is water vapour. It was a long process. Part of the challenge was cement’s opacity: the trick, he discovered, was to remove the crystal flakes that occur as a by product in one production method, which is done by changing the microstructure of the cement.
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