The Materials Book

Slow Down and Sip the Lemonade: Citric acid can make mortars easier to work with Citric acid isn’t generally considered a building material, but it can help make other materials more useful. When added to fast-setting mortar, the acid slows the process of setting, giving builders a few extra minutes to work with the material and, if necessary, make corrections. This avoids mistakes that lead to replacements and waste, and it allows a wider circle of users such as semiprofessionals or laymen to use a high-performance material in a sustainable way. And when the workers get thirsty, the leftovers can be turned into lemonade. Example: Food-grade fruit acid C 6 H 8 O 7 , seen in facade reconstruction of Dieskaustraße 101, Leipzig, Germany Contributed by: Summacumfemmer Architekten, Germany 314