Cemstone, a leader in high performance concrete, engineering services and sustainable technologies, has become the first ready mix company in the U.S. to use a new form of concrete that removes carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide from the atmosphere. Cemstone provided the photocatalytic concrete for a pair of 30-foot-tall sculptures that have been installed in the median of the new I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.

The concrete used on these 30-foot-tall sculptures is North America's first use of a concrete that
removes pollutants from the atmosphere. Courtesy of FIGG, designer of the bridge; photo by Tim Davis.

The two sculptures, which mark the crossing of the Mississippi River, are constructed from a unique concrete that uses ultraviolet sunlight to promote and accelerate oxidation at the surface of the structures. In addition to keeping the sculptures a bright white color, the concrete allows for the conversion of smog-causing gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide to higher oxidized states. This is the same process used by a catalytic converter in automobiles.

The monuments, which are designed using the international cartographic symbol for water, were developed in partnership with FIGG, designers of the bridge, architect Oslund and Associates and architectural precast manufacturer Stoneworks.

"Concrete has many environmental benefits as a sustainable building material, and this form of concrete takes environmental stewardship to another level," said Thor Becken, president of Cemstone. "Not only are these monuments beautiful, but they will help clean the air we breathe for years to come."

The concrete's performance is made possible through the application of a nanotechnology developed by Essroc Italcementi Group. This is the first use of this material in North America, and the first application in a self-consolidating concrete anywhere in the world. Kevin MacDonald, Cemstone vice president of engineering services, led the company's effort to apply this new and innovative technology to the I-35W bridge.

To learn more about Cemstone products and services, phone 1-800-CEMSTONE or visit www.cemstone.com.

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