(1923 - 1998)
Geógrafo, espeleólogo y arqueólogo. Primer Presidente de la Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, Presidente fundador de la Federación Espeleológica de América Latina y el Caribe y de diversas sociedades científicas nacionales e internacionales.
Technical Sciences
2005 | "A compatible environmental alternative to diminish Portland cement consumption: lime-pozzolan binder as active mineral addition in concrete."
Main executives entity: Martha Abreu Central University of Las Villas (UCLV), MES
Main author: Dr. José F. Martirena Hernández
Coauthors: Sergio Betancourt Rodríguez, Lesday Martínez Fernández, Juan M. Dopico Montes de Oca, Raúl González López and Iván Machado López.

Scientific impact: In this work, there are scientifically and technically determined the conditions for the use of agricultural waste ashes, in particular of sugar cane straw, as highly reactive puzolanic material that, combined with lime, constitutes a very refined and active mineral additive in concrete. This new preservative improves the mechanical properties and durability of the concrete used in construction, when increasing the mixture compactness and hydratation degree of the reaction products, allowing this way reducing considerably Portland cement consumption.

Economic impact: The successful use of lime-pozzolan binder in concrete has been demonstrated in small prefabrication, where substantial improvements are achieved in mechanical properties and durability, even under marine corrosion conditions. Also, the new binder has been applied in commercial concrete in Cuba and Nicaragua. The massive introduction of the results of this work can contribute to save significantly Portland cement consumption, and therefore the petroleum required for its production. The changes of paradigms in Portland cement production and consumption proposed in the work were introduced in the production of lime-pozzolan binder with appropriate technologies.

Social impact: There are exposed in this work the positive results obtained in the construction of economic housing starting from ashes of agricultural waste with lime, without Portland cement consumption, which can have an important effect in the improvement of housing conditions in Cuba and other developing countries, in times when petroleum is very expensive. Also, it could be a contribution to the reduction of emissions of greenhouse effect gases, as carbon dioxide, which are formed during the production process of Portland cement.

References: These results are endorsed by the main author's experiences, nationally certified, and by those of highly qualified specialists from the universities of Kessel in Germany and Calgary in Canada.

Conclusion: It is a meritorious scientific work that introduces novel solutions with results satisfactorily endorsed in applications carried out in Cuba and Latin America. For this reason, it is proposed for the Annual Prize of the Science Academy of Cuba.