TiO2 Cement for Green Construction

Project ID: 7846
Principal Investigator: Jessica Torrey
Research Topic: Water Quality
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014
Keywords: titanium dioxide, green cement, sustainable construction

Research Question

What is the impact of TiO2 photocatalytic "green" cement on local water and air quality?

What is the durability of such a product under various environmental conditions and construction stresses?

How best could Reclamation incorporate such products into a "green" building plan?

Need and Benefit

In 2007, an executive order was signed, entitled Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, which directed federal agencies to reduce their environmental impacts and set goals for environmental stewardship. This order was subsequently refined, and, in 2008, the DOI issued the Department of the Interior Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan (SBIP). Reclamation has committed to the vision of the SBIP "to reduce the negative economic, social, and environmental impacts of its buildings through sustainable planning, acquisition, siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, leasing, and decommissioning."

In 2011, the U.S. Green Building Initiative challenged new construction to be designed with more energy and resource efficiency. Additional goals were to reduce greenhouse gases and contribute to a healthier environment for the community through better building practices.

This research proposal represents a unique opportunity for Reclamation to collaborate on a field test for evaluating a TiO2-based photocatalytic green cement product that acts as an air and water purifier. The manufacturer of this product has cited several instances where buildings using this product as part of a green building plan have received LEED certification. In addition, it is marketed as a self-cleaning product that helps to reduce maintenance costs and improve cosmetic appearance of structures. Reclamation is often asked to provide architectural concrete to meet the aesthetic needs of new and existing building projects. This product may be able to satisfy those needs with an additional benefit of improving water and air quality in the vicinity of the structure. It could be used broadly across all Reclamation regions to comply with the SBIP guiding principles.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

TiO2 Cement for Green Construction (final, PDF, 475KB)
By Jessica Torrey
Report completed on October 02, 2014

Two titanium dioxide nanoparticle-based "green" cement products were tested. The products were exposed to cyclic weathering and freeze-thaw conditions. Testing and analysis is ongoing. In addition to the research performed at USBR, two collaborations were established. Work for FY15 includes refinement of the initial experiments, field testing, and nanoparticle release testing in conjunction with our research partners.

Eco-Friendly Cement for Green Construction (final, PDF, 807KB)
By Jessica Torrey
Publication completed on September 30, 2015

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20