That’s exactly what civil engineer Dr John Forth from the University of Leeds wants to achieve with the invention of a building block made almost entirely of recycled glass, metal slag, sewage sludge, incinerator ash, and pulverised fuel ash from power stations.
Dr Forth, in the School of Engineering, believes the ‘Bitublock’ has the potential to revolutionise the building industry by providing a sustainable, low-energy replacement for around 350 million concrete blocks manufactured in the UK each year. “Our aim is to completely replace concrete as a structural material,” he explained.
“Bitublocks use up to 100% waste materials and avoid sending them to landfill, which is quite unheard of in the building industry. What’s more, less energy is required to manufacture the Bitublock than a traditional concrete block, and it’s about six times as strong, so it’s quite a high-performance product.”
The secret ingredient is bitumen, a sticky substance used to bind the mixture of waste products together, before compacting it in a mould to form a solid block. Next the block is heat-cured, which oxidises the bitumen so it hardens like concrete.
This makes it possible to use a higher proportion of waste in the Bitublock than by using a cement or clay binder. The Bitublock could put to good use each year an estimated 400,000 tonnes of crushed glass and 500,000 tonnes of incinerator ash. Plans are now underway to develop a‘Vegeblock’ using waste vegetable oil.
This innovative project - funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council - is being carried out in partnership with Dr Salah Zoorob from the University of Nottingham. Their work could be on the market within three to five years, and there is enormous commercial interest.
Simon Jenkins | alfa
New Generation of Cleaning Tools for CSP Plants Reduces the Water Consumption
09.11.2018 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum
memory-steel - a new material for the strengthening of buildings
23.10.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences