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Synthesis and Utilization of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles for more sustainable and durable cementitious composites

Project description

Making concrete green with MSNs

Concrete is strong, durable and versatile. This is why it’s the most commonly used building material. However, its benefits mask huge dangers to the environment. Concrete is one of the largest sources of air pollution – responsible for 8 % of global greenhouse gases. The EU-funded SynSilable project will explore the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs). Specifically, synthesised and optimised MSNs will be used in different amounts in cement composites to examine the microstructure, durability and mechanical properties. The findings will benefit the sustainable production of concrete so that it can remain the most widely used synthetic material in the world.


The current project purposes to produce ultra-high performance concrete, especially at early age, and also to further reduce cement consumption using novel nanotechnology techniques. Due to the fact that concrete is the most important building material and also one of the largest sources of air pollution, it is necessary to improve its performance. The slow process of increasing the strength of concrete and barriers to the use of nanomaterials justify the need to use new technology. To achieve this, using mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) have been considered due to their high chemical activity and suitable dispersibility. In this study using MSNs in concrete will be dealt with for the first time.
MSNs are synthesized and optimized in this study and then will be used in different amounts in cement composites to examine the micro structure, durability and mechanical properties. The methodology of the project is divided into three section: 1- Synthesizing and investigating MSNs 2- Examining the properties of cement paste containing MSNs 3- Investigating of properties of concrete containing MSN and doing LCA.
Conducting the project in KU Leuven with its global facilities, working with prof. Ozlem, and also interdisciplinary nature of this study, will give the applicant this opportunity to be trained in different terms including becoming familiar with equipment, synthesizing, analyzing the micro structure of concrete, and managing project. These help him to fill his research gap. Furthermore, given the two-way science interaction nature of this project, it can open a new research path at KU Leuven. Considering the applicant’s current experience in concrete and the experience he will gain in this project, it is expected that he will become an independent scientist in concrete chemistry at academia or industry. The output of the project can lead to the production of sustainable products in line with EU policies, reduce project time and improve the performance of concrete.


Net EU contribution
€ 175 920,00
3000 Leuven

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Participants (1)

Partners (2)