Making Bricks from Industrial Waste
The negative environmental and social impacts of clay fired brick production have raised concerns about its future use. Especially in developing countries where it’s the most readily available low cost building material. Another problem is industrialization, which generates industrial waste that are often disposed of in harmful ways. Eco-BLAC, an innovative brick developed by Tata Center at MIT, seeks to solve both these problems.
The primary industrial waste which is currently being utilized is boiler ash, a byproduct of combustion during energy production at small and medium sized factories. This ash is pretty useless due to its variability in physical and chemical properties. Hence, the team see an opportunity in creating a robust design which can account for the variability by using alkali-activation technology. They want to create a product which is both economically and environmentally sustainable. Their aim is to produce low-cost masonry units offering the added benefits of reduced energy demands, a smaller carbon footprint, and less natural resource consumption than traditional masonry.
This solution is feasible in developing countries as there are still a lot of factories that produce boiler ash as waste; and a huge demand for large quantities of low cost building materials. Are there other harmful industrial waste that can be turned into something constructive?
Spotted by: Bikram Palikhey