Researchers from the University of Kansas are using recycled by-products from the production of biofuel in order to increase the strength and durability of concrete.
Civil engineers found that lacing concrete with 20 per cent lignin, a byproduct of cellulose materials created when producing biofuels, triggered a chemical reaction that created a material 30 per cent tougher than traditional concrete.
Seven billion cubic metres of concrete are used in the construction industry worldwide annually.
Finding a viable and sustainable alternative for its core component cement could have widespread implications for the future of construction.
The Australian cement industry has lowered its CO2 emissions by 23 per cent between 1991 and 2009.