Researchers from the University of Jaen (Spain) have created a new way to mix
paper waste with a ceramic material in order to make bricks, resulting in a
durable product that can act as a good insulator.
The scientists at the University of Jaen collected cellulous waste from a paper
factory, along with sludge from the purification of its waste water. The
researchers then mixed the material with clay that is used in construction, and
passed the mixture through a pressure and extrusion machine to obtain bricks.
"Adding waste means that the end product has low thermal conductivity and is
therefore a good insulator," explains Carmen Martínez, researcher at the
University of Jaen. "In addition to the resulting benefit of using these bricks
instead of their traditional counterparts made of traditional raw materials."
Another advantage of adding waste to the brick prototypes is that they provide
energy due to their organic material content, which could help reduce fuel
consumption and kiln time required for brick production. The current
prototype's dimensions are small (3 x 1 x 6 cm), but the team has already
tested larger bricks with similar results.
"On the whole, this technique could bring about a saving in energy and raw
materials for brick factories along with environmental benefits from the use of
waste that is initially discarded," adds Martínez.
The researcher recognizes that these bricks have lower mechanical resistance
than traditional bricks, despite the fact that the prototype's parameter is
above the legal minimum. There are still a few problems to solve in the
adherence and shaping of those pieces that have high percentages of paper
The team continues in their search for the happy medium between sustainability
and material resistance and is still researching the advantages of adding other
products, such as sludge from water treatment plants or residues from the beer,
olive and biodiesel industries.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection