Promoting the sustainability of the building industry is one of the major approaches to addressing energy depletion and climate change. Here, Aalborg White cement was used as the binder to prepare cementitious cooling composites with superior energy-free cooling performance, environmental applicability, and low cost.

To achieve the efficient passive cooling of the cement-based products, AALBORG WHITE® cement was premixed with limestone powders, quartz powders, and titanium dioxide (rutile), and then cured in autoclave conditions.

“Extreme summer” is occurring worldwide, causing significant consequences to human society, due to climate change. Traditional cooling facilities are extensively applied in buildings to improve local thermal comfort. However, they consume considerable amounts of energy, resulting in an overall heating effect, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. Therefore, efficient and energy-free technologies with desirable cooling performance are in great demand to counter climate change, especially from the perspective of sustainability. Radiative cooling is considered one of the most promising pathways thanks to its high efficiency and wide application range. 

We expect to produce low-cost efficient building passive cooling with high durability, for large-scale engineering practice. So far, we finished the lab work and validated the cooling potential of the Aalborg white cement-based cooling products (Figure 1 and Figure 2). The experiments were conducted in 2022 summer, on the SolarBETA floor of Eindhoven University of Technology, under various outdoor conditions (Figure 1). We are currently working on the improvement of cooling performance by optimizing the raw recipes (mix design, physical and chemical properties of raw materials) and curing conditions. 

This study is expected to transfer the traditional high-carbon cement-based products to the passive cooler for buildings, and then reduce energy consumption and contribute to carbon neutrality. 


Figure 1. Outdoor experiment setup for cooling performance evaluation.


 Figure 2. Infrared images of cement-based cooling slices exposed to the outdoor environment.


The inorganic cement-based passive coolers can be first applied in developing countries and regions, such as India, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia for building cooling. Besides, they can be also used for 1) the long-term transportation of fresh food with the lightweight design and 2) the extra cold source of air conditioning systems.



Figure 3. (a) Comparison of optical performance and (b) radiative cooling power of as-prepared cement-based passive cooler and other radiative coolers.

Meanwhile, the preparation of cement-based passive coolers does not need the complicated and cost-high fabrication process (electrospinning, multi-coatings, and photolithography), which are required for traditional radiative coolers. The cement-based passive cooler can provide efficient radiative cooling compared with traditional organic radiative coolers (Figure 3). Furthermore, the inorganic and porous intrinsic also empower superior durability and evaporative cooling of such cement-based coolers. These properties allow their application in developing countries and regions, such as India, Brazil, and sub-Saharan Africa, and then contribute to carbon neutrality.


[1] X. Yu, J. Chan, C. Chen, Review of radiative cooling materials: Performance evaluation and design approaches, Nano Energy. 88 (2021) 106259.
[2] G. Lu, W. She, X. Tong, W. Zuo, Y. Zhang, Radiative cooling potential of cementitious composites: Physical and chemical origins, Cem. Concr. Compos. 119 (2021) 104004.
[3] D. Liu, A. Kaja, J.C.O. Zepper, D. Fan, D. Zhang, H.J.H. Brouwers, Q. Yu, Scalable Cooling Cementitious Composites : Synergy between Reflective, Radiative, and Evaporative Cooling, Energy Build. 285 (2023) 112909.


Yu Qingliang

Qingliang Yu

Qingliang Yu is full professor at Wuhan University and holds a part-time associate professor appointment at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research interests primarily concern cement-bound materials, from materials to structural behavior understanding, covering micro-, meso- and macro-level. His current research topics include functional building materials with air purifying, self-cleaning, passive cooling, or (ultra)high performance, concerning sustainability including alternative binders design like alkali-activated binder and application of industrial by-products or waste materials and durability under different exposure environment. His research follows the complete chain of knowledge from materials at molecular level to structural element, applying both experimental and modelling approaches. The current portfolio is well supported by his unique educational background from Civil Engineering to Materials Science.

H.J.H. Brouwers

H.J.H. Brouwers

Jos Brouwers is a Full Professor and Chair of Building Materials at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).  The chair Building Materials is devoted to the advancement and diffusion of knowledge concerning sustainable and functional building materials. Current research interests include sustainable building granular mix design and concrete/mortar rheology. Microstructure and pore water chemistry of hydrating cement/lime/gypsum and cementitious by-products, and their dehydration, treatment of contaminated soils, dredged sediments, industrial waste etc, with the help of air/steam (cleaning) and by mixing with cement/lime/gypsum (immobilization/stabilization), transport properties and durability of cement/lime/gypsum based materials (such as Cl- and CO2 diffusion/binding), Functional materials: self-cleaning, air-purifying, translucent, thermally buffering, etc. 

Daoru Liu

Daoru Liu

Daoru Liu obtained his bachelor's and master's degree from Wuhan University of Technology, China, in Building Environment & Energy Application Engineering (2017), and Architecture & Civil Engineering (2020), respectively. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Building Materials Group, Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology. His research topic is Cementitious-based multifunctional materials for Photocatalysis, Radiative cooling, and Water treatment.