The European Ceramic Society


Mar 3, 2022

YCN Newsletter : Women in Ceramics by Anna Alfocea Roig

The Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) has a significant environmental impact. For every kg of OPC produced, approximately 0.81 kg of CO2 is generated. Therefore, it is necessary to search for alternative environmental cements to reduce the use of OPC. 

One of the most promising materials are Magnesium Phosphate Cements (MPCs). MPCs make it possible to convert a wide variety of waste streams into useful by-products. This alternative would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy consumption, recover waste and not have to consume new resources by extracting minerals from nature reserves, among other things. The production of MPCs consists of the reaction of powdered magnesium oxide (MgO) with monopotassium phosphate (MKP, KH2PO4) to form magnesium and potassium phosphate (MgKPO4·6H2O) at room temperature. The main goal of my research is valorising industrial by-products and wastes to formulate sustainable MPCs with the aim of formulating a cement capable of reducing the OPC in any of its applications in the field of construction. The study is focused on developing a magnesium phosphate cement in which the magnesium oxide used is a by-product from the steel industry. To assess its feasibility, a thorough physicochemical characterization is performed. In addition, a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is being conducted to quantify the environmental impact.

Gender equality is vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite the efforts of the last decades, barriers still exist for women to develop in the field of science. Celebrating the importance of women and our achievements in different scientific fields on certain days is crucial to recognise our role, especially, considering women have been invisible throughout history. However, this is not enough. Our efforts must also consider how women can take part in scientific positions throughout all educational systems. That’s why having international referents is a good start, but we must also validate more down-to-earth scientists and give them credit for their discoveries and advances. During the last few years, women in science have been given more visibility and responsibility, focusing on how essential our work is and how capable we are of making important contributions to science. In the field of science and technology of building materials, currently, women are becoming more visible, and our work is evolving into a more recognized one. We trust and hope that continuing this path towards gender equality in science will help us to achieve our goals and make a better scientific community. We encourage all scientific organizations and research groups to make real and honest changes.


Anna Alfocea Roig

PhD Student

DIOPMA research group

Materials Science & Physical Chemistry Department
Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

Last news

Oct 6, 2023
YCN Newsletter 18 - New YCN Representative call

You can now apply to the YCN Representative position here! Deadline for applications is October 31st 2023.

Oct 6, 2023
Next Deadline to apply to the JECS Trust is 30th November 2023!

Please note that the decisions of the JECS Trust board will not be known before end of February 2024. Activities submitted for the deadline of 30th November 2023 for support from the JECS Trust should then not begin before mid-March 2024.


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