Meta is using AI technology to create sustainable concrete to reduce the carbon footprint of its data centers.

Source: Rajamanickam Antonimuthu/Youtube

Cement is widely used for construction all over the world and creating sustainable concrete could be a great way to combat global emissions.

Researchers at Meta recently began developing a formula for concrete that uses less energy and is sturdy enough for their data centers. The company has teamed up with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and they have now made concrete that is 40 percent less carbon-intensive than the average of the Chicago-area data center where they have been testing.

“Using the input data on concrete formulas along with their corresponding compressive strength and carbon footprint, the Al model was able to generate a number of promising new concrete mixes that could meet our stated data center requirements with a lower embodied carbon impact than the industry standard,” the authors of the study said.

The AI system was able to create formulas and find their corresponding carbon impact and strength. The algorithm create a list of formulas and the team tested five of them in their lab. They found one final recipe that is made using cement substitutes like fly ash and slag. The material met strength requirements and cut construction energy consumption by 40 percent, according to the company.

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face,” Meta chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said in a statement. “Delivering essential technologies and reliable climate information to billions of people is at the heart of how Meta can help address the crisis. And we believe we can do it with a net zero carbon footprint.”

Although more testing for the concrete needs to be done before it can be used, it’s great to see a massive company like Meta working towards solutions for their large energy-consuming data centers.

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