Remember the glow in the dark fluorescent plastic toys from your childhood? The latest technology has turned the walkways into glow in the dark pathways.
Professor José Carlos Rubio from the University of San Nicolas Hidalgo in Mexico has developed solar-powered cement that can glow in the dark. The cement can be used for lighting up roads and street walks.
The cement stores the solar power and uses it to radiate light during the night. The material can provide light for up to 12 hours after 24 hours in the sun.
Commenting on his invention, Rubio said:
“Nine years ago, when I started the project, I realized there was nothing similar worldwide, and so I started to work on it. The main issue was that cement is an opaque body that doesn’t allow the pass of light to its interior.”
When mixed with water, cement is converted into a gel along with the formation of minute crystal flakes that do not allow light emission. The underlying procedure uses a unique method to eliminate the crystal flakes and thus enable the cement to absorb the sunlight.
The professor claims that the material can last for a hundred years while the children glow in the dark toys typically survive three years or so. Unlike the toys, the cement does not degrade over time.
Rubio envisions a future where the glow in the dark cement will lead to the end of the streetlights used to illuminate the roads. Streetlights attribute 25 to 50 percent of the energy costs, exhausting the energy sources of the city.
The gleaming cement offers an attractive alternative to the cities that are currently using the energy efficient LEDs or solar-powered streetlights to illuminate the sidewalks. However, Rubio’s invention needs to be analyzed to ascertain its feasibility.