Material sustainability

There is a strong demand of studies linking chemistry and hydrodynamics of cement or similar materials in the fields of concrete public works, industrial waste or soils stabilized with hydraulic binders. A common denominator is the prediction of long-term stability and sustainability (or alteration) of these materials subject to the hazards of their industrial or natural environment, in the strategic contexts of their lifetime increase, their decontamination or the waste recovery without a significant environmental impact. The processes of hydrolysis, carbonation and sulphation are studied in this frame.

On the other hand, both from a scientific perspective and as for applications, the study of (favourable or unfavourable) interactions between micro-organisms and geomaterials is strongly developing. An example is the solution of organic acids by the microbial metabolism that generally accelerates alteration by acid hydrolysis and complexation of calcium ions. The modelling of experiments of cement test tube leaching by fungi is ongoing with HYTEC.

The main partners involved in these topics are :

  • the Institut National de l'Environnement industriel et des RISques (INERIS) ;
  • Électricite de France (EdF) ;
  • the Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées (LCPC) ;
  • the École des Mines of Alès (EMA).

Concrete and cement bio-deterioration


In agreement with laboratory experiments, HYTEC modelling shows that the solution of organic acids, by bacterial metabolism for example, can significantly increase the deterioration of cement pastes and concretes with a spreading of mineralogical deterioration fronts, a loss of mass and an increase of porosity, even a mechanical weakening.