Craig Tenney, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, is currently looking for a way to clean the dangerous chemicals out of concrete. For this project, Tenney and his team are using computer simulations that allow them to see things that they normally would not be able to obtain experimentally.

The chemical complexity of concrete as well as its sponge-like capabilities make decontaminating concrete more difficult that some would imagine.

...concrete is intricately spongy and thus really hard to clean up. It may not look like it from the outside, but concrete is full of microscopic pores that allow a concrete structure to grab onto chemicals and sometimes “breathe” them back out. That means even if the concrete surface is cleaned, dangerous chemicals from an event could still be hiding deep inside.

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