Scientists develop low-carbon bricks from C&D waste

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admin November 8, 2021
Updated 2021/11/08 at 10:11 AM

The Department of Science and Method said on Thursday that researchers have developed a technology to manufacture energy-efficient walling materials utilising construction and demolition (C&D) waste and alkali-activated binders.

Low-carbon bricks don’t need to be fired at high temperatures and don’t need high-energy ingredients like Portland cement. The technique will help address the disposal issues that come with reducing C&D waste.

Building envelopes are often made out of masonry walls made up of burned clay bricks, concrete blocks, hollow clay blocks, fly ash bricks, lightweight blocks, and other materials.

The envelopes use energy during manufacturing, resulting in carbon emissions, as well as mined raw material resources, resulting in unsustainable structures.

The masonry units are made either via a fire process or by utilising high-energy or embodied carbon binders like Portland cement.

India consumes approximately 900 million tonnes of bricks and blocks each year. Furthermore, the building sector produces massive quantities of construction and demolition trash (70–100 million tonnes each year) (CDW).

Two major problems must be addressed during the production of masonry units in order to encourage sustainable construction: the conservation of mined raw material resources and the reduction of emissions.

In order to achieve this goal, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) devised a method that uses fly ash and furnace slag to produce alkali-activated bricks or blocks.

The researchers used an alkali activation method with fly ash and powdered slag to create low embodied carbon bricks from CDW waste and characterised the thermal, structural, and durability properties of Low-C bricks and their masonry.

The optimal mix ratios of the components were determined after the physicochemical and compaction properties of the CDW were determined, and then the manufacturing method was developed to make low-C bricks. The compressed bricks were made using the optimal binder proportions. The engineering features of the bricks were investigated.

The construction industry in general, and the building sector in particular, is a key beneficiary of this development conducted by IISc Bangalore with support from the Department of Science and Technology. This technique will also help to solve the issue of disposing of C&D trash.

“With IISc’s technical assistance, a start-up has been registered that will be operational in 6-9 months to produce low-C bricks and blocks.”

Prof. B V Venkatarama Reddy, IISc Bangalore, said, “The start-up unit would serve as a technology diffusion unit via training, capacity development, and giving technical know-how for creating similar commercial units throughout India.”

 

Source: The Hindu

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