Zhang Builds Startup to Produce Concrete Alternative

Jinhong Zhang, associate professor of mining and geological engineering, has launched a startup to develop and distribute a concrete substitute he invented.

A disc made of the new UA-invented Acrete material

Zhang created Acrete with the aid of entrepreneur Abraham Jalbout and Tech Launch Arizona, the UA office that commercializes inventions stemming from faculty and student research.

UANews covered Acrete's launch in a recent story, highlighting the concrete substitute's status as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional Portland cement. Its composition – three times as much fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants – triples the amount of waste converted into useful building material while having up to three times the compressive strength of cement and twice the flexural strength.

"Our vision is to look at how we can reutilize waste and underutilized materials that are being produced as byproducts of mining," says Jalbout, Acrete's CEO. "We want to find ways to use these materials for other applications."


Photo courtesy of Paul Tumarkin/Tech Launch Arizona

University of Arizona College of Engineering