Eco-Black – Bricks from Industrial Waste
Over 250 billion clay bricks are produced throughout India annually. This centuries-old product remains the subcontinent’s most commonly used building material, even as the environmentally detrimental production of fired clay bricks is responsible for a third of India’s coal consumption and hundreds of millimeters of topsoil erosion. Alternative building materials that rely on fewer resource-constrained raw materials and have a lower embodied energy could provide India with a much-needed substitution for this unsustainable practice.
This research aims to provide India with the resources to not only reduce the production of these energy-intensive building materials but to also curb the dumping of certain industrial wastes by recycling them into a more sustainable brick.
For the successful production of waste-derived building materials, chemistry is incredibly important. Consequently, their work to date has focused on the detailed characterization of agricultural residue-derived biomass ash—a byproduct of energy production at small- and medium-scale enterprises throughout India. This research has led to the successful production a masonry product made primarily from this ash.
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Spotted by: Bikram Palikhey