Today at Berkeley Lab

ALS Helps Show Why Ancient Roman Concrete is Durable and Ecological

An international team led by Paulo Monteiro of the Advanced Light Source and UC Berkeley has analyzed samples of Roman concrete from harbor installations that have survived 2,000 years of chemical attack and wave action, “one of the most durable construction materials on the planet,” says UC Berkeley’s Marie Jackson, a leading member of the team. Says Monteiro, “It’s not that modern concrete isn’t good, but manufacturing Portland cement accounts for seven percent of the carbon dioxide that industry puts into the air.” The carbon footprint of Roman concrete, made from lime, volcanic ash, and seawater, is much smaller.