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ChemMasters Newsletter: Vol 2 Issue 3
China has used more cement in the last three years than the United States used in the entire 20th century.
That jaw-dropping fact—and how it happened, and why it matters—are at the heart of Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization, a new book by historian Vaclav Smil, professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba.
China used 6.6 gigatons of cement from 2011 to 2013, while the United States used 4.5 gigatons of cement from 1901 to 2000, Smil reports, citing data from the U.S. Geological Survey and other sources.