A team of researchers from University of Jaén in Spain have developed a way to turn paper waste into bricks, according to a paper published in the journal Fuel Processing Technology.
December 26 2012, Environmental Leader
A team of researchers from University of Jaén in Spain have developed
a way to turn paper waste into bricks, according to a paper published
in the journal Fuel Processing Technology.
The paper Recovering wastes from the paper industry: Development of ceramic materials outlines
research into the recovery of two forms of waste from the paper
industry: sludge from the purification of wastewater and residue from
cleaning the pulp.
The continuous generation of industrial waste and the environmental
problems it causes makes it necessary to find alternative methods for
treating waste, the paper says. The researchers found the sludge residue
can be used in ceramic materials such as bricks, an addition that saves
raw materials and energy.
The waste-based bricks have lower mechanical strength compared to
traditional bricks. However, the researchers hope to improve the
strength of the bricks in further testing.
Researchers began by collecting cellulose waste, specifically sludge
from wastewater treatment, from a paper recycling factory and mixed it
with clay used in construction.
The mixture was then shaped and put through an extrusion machine to
form one long piece of material, which was then sliced into individual
bricks and ultimately fired in a kiln, according to SINC, a state-wide public agency in Spain that specializes in information on science, technology and innovation.
The addition of waste allows the final product to present a low
thermal conductivity, so it acts as a good insulator, said Carmen
Martinez, a researcher at the University of Jaén, according to SINC. The
bricks organic content can help reduce fuel consumption and the firing
time required during the production process.
A report released by Frost & Sullivan last month said the industrial sludge treatment chemicals market
in Western Europe, valued at 635.2 million ($1.02 billion) in 2011,
will reach 808.8 million ($1.3 billion) in 2018, growth driven by
intensifying environmental awareness and stricter regulations related to
discharge processes and disposal.