It’s taken nine years of work, but it turns out it can be done. Scientist Jose Carlos Rubio, of Mexico’s University of San Nicolas de Hidalgo, has just patented his glow-in-the-dark cement.
And what are its applications, other than looking very cool? Dr Rubio believes it could be a new way to light cities, streets and buildings without using electricity: the only thing emitted during its production is water vapour.
It was a long process. Part of the challenge was cement’s opacity: the trick, he discovered, was to remove the crystal flakes that occur as a byproduct in one production method, which is done by changing the microstructure of the cement.