Bridget Denzer ’23
Chemical and Biological Engineering
An Investigation of Alkali-activated Cement
Certificate(s): Materials Science and Engineering, Sustainable Energy
I studied alkali-activated cement, which is an alternative to traditional portland cement that produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions. Because the construction industry is highly regulated, more research is needed on the material properties of alkali-activated cement for it to be used in industry. I analyzed alkali-activated cement through two different methods, the first being a life-cycle analysis. I studied the carbon footprint and total cost of producing alkali-activated cement — from raw materials to the finished product — for three different project sites in the United States. I then worked in the programming language Python to create graphs and analyze data from sulfuric acid-corroded cement. Sulfuric acid resistance is an important property for determining the suitability of cement for sewer-related uses and, thus, this research was significant for deploying alkali-activated cement in real-world industrial applications. I learned a lot through this internship about material characterization methods and gained technical coding skills, which will help me in my pursuit of a graduate degree in materials science.
Innovation and a New Energy Future
Sustainable Cements Group, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University
Claire White, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; Christine Pu, Ph.D. candidate, Civil and Environmental Engineering