A WSU graduate student discovered fly ash can replace large amounts of cement in concrete, which makes the concrete cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Sen Du, a doctoral student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has won an award for his research from the International Association of Chinese Infrastructure Professionals.Du said fly ash is a natural byproduct of coal power plants.

He said using fly ash lowers the environmental impact of using concrete by reducing the need for cement production.“Since the production of the cement can cause a lot of CO2 to enter our air, when we use the fly ash to replace cement, we can reduce the CO2 emissions, which is great for our environment,” he said.

Du said using the fly ash is also helpful to the environment because it is a way of repurposing something which would otherwise have been useless.“The fly ash is coal waste,” he said. “It normally goes straight to the landfill. So being able to recycle it is really good.”


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