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This glow-in-the-dark cement could totally change how we light cities

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You could even say it glows

Dr. José Carlos Rubio, a scientist at Mexico's University of San Nicolas Hidalgo, has created a new type of cement that glows in the dark, opening a whole new world of possibility for illuminating streets and buildings.

The idea of glow-in-the-dark cement is so simple and elegant, you might wonder why it hasn't been patented before. Traditionally, there's been a pretty significant barrier, since conventional cement is opaque and therefore incapable of capturing and storing light energy, even when combined with phosphorescent materials.

After nine years of research, Dr. Rubio has overcome this hurdle and figured out a way of altering the micro-structure of cement itself, eliminating the opaque crystalline byproducts of the normal production process that blocked phosphorescence.

When fully charged by exposure to light, Rubio's cement can glow for up to 12 hours, and should retain this ability for about a century.

The researcher has just patented his technology—a first for the University of San Nicolas—and is exploring its commercial applications.

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