Thoughts on the Engineering Industry

A blog covering engineering, technology and business topics

Concrete Eating Robots: A More Efficient Method of Breaking Down Concrete?

 

     Hello everyone.  I hope everything is going well.  I had a good Easter weekend with my family and I’m feeling rested after a busy week.  Today, I would like to talk about an innovation I read about a few weeks ago which is called a “Concrete Eating Robot” as described in a blog post by Peloton Land Solutions.

     The Concrete Eating Robot is a system which uses a high pressure water jet to break down concrete rather than using a wrecking ball or something else to crush concrete.  The water/concrete slurry is then collected to reclaim the reusable materials.  The clean aggregate can be used in other concrete mixes.  The water is reused by the system so that a large of amount of water isn’t wasted in the process.  And the clean and reusable rebar beneath the concrete can be pulled apart for use in other structures.  The only waste that I could find according to the article by Peloton Land Solutions is the cement mixture that can’t be reused.

     This invention has some very good benefits in that the rebar and aggregate can be reused in a very efficient manner.  However, cement is the least sustainable product required for concrete construction.  And in this case, I didn’t see a method for recycling cement which could make this a critical issue.  Depending on the situation, this could negate some of the benefits to the point that this invention might not be worth the investment.  For example, if this is a case where a high amount of cement is required and aggregate can be easily procured locally for any new construction, the cost benefit ratio might tilt back towards a more traditional method.  If this is a low to zero cement usage concrete in an area where the required aggregate isn’t easily obtainable, this would be a better situation for something like this.

   Here is a more detailed article on the device: http://goo.gl/SWDwN2

   What is your opinion on this invention? Do you see it being used regularly in the future?  Thanks for your time and have a good week!

Resources:

Peloton Land Solutions, “Concrete Eating Robots?”, March 3rd, 2014, http://goo.gl/Y920hK

CoExist Blog, “This Concrete Eating Robot Can Recycle an Entire Building on the Spot”, April 16th, 2014, http://goo.gl/SWDwN2

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2 thoughts on “Concrete Eating Robots: A More Efficient Method of Breaking Down Concrete?

  1. Kevin Cudby on said:

    Robert mate you nailed a key point here. Cement production emits CO2. This is one reason I say that CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption have to go to zero. Cement and limestone-based products account for (depending on whose figures you believe) 3 to 5 percent of net anthropogenic CO2 emissions. So, even if we need to reduce net emissions by “only” 98%, there’s no room for CO2 emissions from cement. We can replace everything else with drop-in technology (solar crude oil, nuclear power, etc.) No-one has yet demonstrated a drop-in carbon-neutral replacement for cement.

  2. Thanks for reading. I did another post on the use of fly ash and slag in place of cement completely. I don’t think it would be practical for a high rise but with enough testing it could possibly be used for stuff like single story residential buildings. Let me know what you think. -> http://bit.ly/1QVGRfB

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