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10/29/2021: New Research article

This study compared the effects of two different types of cellulose nanomaterials, including cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) produced from wood and bacterial cellulose (BC), on the macro, micro, and nanoscale performances of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) paste. Effects of CNF and BC on cement paste hydration, microstructure, compressive strength, and flexural strength were monitored.


09/24/2021: New Research grant

We will develop new ways of improving the sustainability of concrete using natural and renewable sources of materials - nanocellulose! 

08/15/2021: New Team Members

Welcome to all our new team members!


Salman Siddque

Nithya Nair

06/21/2021: New Team Members

Welcome to all our new team members!


Akshay Dhanure

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Vince Banks

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Emilia Hernandez

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Kiyasha Pierce

06/15/2021: New Research Article Published

This article presents an investigation on the application of amino acids to control the CaCO3 crystallization in carbonation cured wollastonite composites. It was observed that wollastonite carbonated without any amino acid formed calcite as the primary polymorph of CaCO3. In contrast, the use of amino acids as admixtures resulted in the formation of stable amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), vaterite, and aragonite during the carbonation of wollastonite.

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05/04/2021: New Research Article Published

This article presents an investigation into the effects of lignocellulose nanofibrils (LCNF) and delignified cellulose nanofibrils (DCNF) on the hydration, microstructure, and mechanical properties of cement paste. The effects of various fine contents and dosages of the cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) additions on the properties of cement paste are presented in this article.


04/19/2021: New Research Article Published

This article presents a novel route to produce cementitious composites with multifunctional characteristics using biochar. Biochar was chemo-mechanically modified to produce a super-hydrophobic carbonaceous powder (SHCP). This SHCP was then used as a partial replacement up to 15% by weight for Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) in paste and mortar samples.


03/11/2021: New Research Article Published

This article presents a comprehensive investigation on the effects of pure cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and nanosilica containing CNF on the performance of ordinary portland cement (OPC) paste. The effects of CNFs on cement paste rheology, hydration, microscopic phase formation, compressive strength, and fracture parameters were monitored. Sol-gel method was used to synthesis nanosilica particles within CNF slurry.


01/04/2021: Most Cited Paper award 

One of our research articles entitled "Properties of recycled concrete aggregate and their influence in new concrete production" received the 2020 Most Cited Paper Award from Resources, Conservation & Recycling (Impact factor: 8.1). The Award recognizes papers published in RCR in a given year (2018 in this case) that received the highest numbers of citations (Web of Science) in the following three years including the year of publication (2018-2020 in this case).

Here is the link to the paper:

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01/04/2021: New Team Member

Welcome Ishrat Baki Borno! A new graduate student in our team. She will work on the development of high-performance CO2 cured cementitious materials.



11/05/2020: New Research Article Published

This study investigated the potential application of three types of CNF for enhancing the performance of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) pastes: pure CNF (PCNF), silica coated CNF (SCNF), and lignin-containing CNF (LCNF). The better stability of SCNF also resulted in improved workability of the cement paste mixtures containing this type of cellulose. The addition of 0.1% SCNF increased the compressive strength (90 days) by 13% when compared with the control batch and 10% compared with the PCNF batch. The addition of 0.1% of PCNF enhanced the flexural strength by 70% followed by LCNF with 40% improvement.

Amir's paper

09/11/2020: Dr. Ashraf wins DARPA Young Faculty Award

Warda Ashraf has received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA) to fund her research. Her two-year, $495,465 project, “Recreated Roman Concrete using Alkali-Activated Calcined Clays,” could be extended up to $1 million and three years.The goal of this project is to mimic the ancient Roman Concrete to produce highly durable and resilient construction material. Learn more here: 

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09/24/2020: New Research Article Published

This article presents an investigation on the reactivity of ground and sieved bio ash that can be used as alternative sources of SCM. The oxide contents of bio ash are similar to Class-C coal fly ash. Accordingly, bio ash was found to have both hydraulic and pozzolanic reactivity. Grinding the bio ash improved its pozzolanic reactivity by 25% as per the modified Chapelle test. Using bio ash as SCM was also found to increase the ettringite formation in cement matrix. Nevertheless, the potential of excessive expansion of the paste samples due to the ettringite formation was found to be negligible.

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08/28/2020: New Research Article Published

In this work, the effects of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) on workability, hydration reaction, microstructure, early age shrinkage, fracture properties, flexural strength, and compressive strength of cement paste were investigated. Because of their hydrophilicity, CNFs retain water and work as reservoirs (internal curing), which explains the improvement in properties at low w/c ratios. Significant increases in fracture energy (up to 60%) and flexural strength (up to 116%) suggest that CNFs are an effective toughening mechanism, acting as bridges that increase the energy required for crack propagation.

Amir's paper

08/13/2020: New Team Member

Welcome Mohammad Jaberizadeh! A new graduate student in our team. He will work on the recreating Roman Concrete.

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07/10/2020: Research Grant from National Science Foundation (NSF)

Dr. Ashraf received a $491,968 multi-disciplinary grant as PI from NSF. The goal of this project Interaction Between Carbon Dioxide and Cementitious Materials Using Biomimetic Molecules. This research aims to make sustainable infrastructure materials, including supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) and alkali-activated materials (AAM), last longer by reducing their deterioration when these are exposed to carbon dioxide. This research will further contribute to the low-carbon future by advancing the understanding and applications of cementitious materials that can directly serve as carbon dioxide sinks.

Learn more:


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04/10/2020: Research Grant from TxDOT

Dr. Hossain (PI) and Dr. Ashraf (Co-PI) will lead a two-year, $342,588 feasibility study on building plastic roads, funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). In this project, post consumer recycled (PCR) plastics will be mixed with asphalt for an ideal consistency to keep the road safe for motorists and help it last longer, cost less, and avoid cracking.

Learn more:


01/15/2020: PhD students Rakibul I. Khan and Muhammad Intesarul Haque joined our team

10/01/2019: Dr. Ashraf joined the University of Texas at Arlington as an Assistant Professor.

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