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Paper Into Bricks

Spanish researchers have found a way to turn paper waste into bricks using a process that takes less energy than diverting waste into a landfill.

Scientists at Spain’s University of Jaen created the process using waste from paper mills.

It’s an experiment that other researchers have attempted before, but it appears that working-models have finally become a reality.

Gizmag reads that,

“The scientists gathered cellulose from a paper mill, along with sludge left over from the purification process of that plant’s waste water. Those substances were then mixed with clay used in building construction, pressurized, and then extruded in one long sausage-like length. The bricks were then subsequently sliced from the material, and fired in a kiln.”

The hybrid bricks need less time in a kiln than traditional bricks, and also have a low thermal conductivity. While the experimental bricks were smaller than conventional ones, researchers were also able to make regular sized bricks. Unfortunately, the hybrid bricks aren’t as strong as conventional bricks, but researchers are confident that they’ll be able to recreate that strength using this method.

The University of Jaen’s scientists are now focusing on designing stronger bricks with the paper mill method, and hope to have working products in the near future. Other possible ideas include using different waste material, such as sewage sludge, which other eco-waste companies are also exploring as a potential energy-conversion option.

It will likely be several years until this project’s scale reaches wide implementation. For now, we can imagine the possibilities.

It’s often difficult to find eco-conducive methods for construction, but with more and more companies dedicating resources to testing and experimenting with futuristic technology, it’s only a matter of time before traditional construction methods are overhauled and replaced with ecological solutions.

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