Blocks made from sewage cut CO2

Aaron Morby 6 years ago

Yorkshire Water has teamed up with Leeds University to trial house blocks made from incinerated sewage ash.

The blocks combine ash from incinerated sewage with vegetable oil to make blocks which are classified as carbon-negative because the oil comes from plants which have sucked out C02 from the atmosphere.

The university spin-out company Encos has been specialising in alternatives to traditional building methods and the new blocks are being developed for commercial use.

During a patented process standard oils undergo a number of complex chemical reactions which transform it from a viscous liquid into a solid binding matrix.

Masonry units incorporating the binders and manufactured at the Encos laboratories have successfully passed crucial industry tests including fire, freeze-thaw and compressive strength.

The firm has also produced bricks and slips using the process.

The products were also successfully used in the construction of several ‘test walls’ including one at Poundbury – the urban development project built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Jon Brigg, a spokesman for Yorkshire Water, said the bricks and blocks were classed as carbon negative because the plants used to make the vegetable oil have absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere.

He said: “We are always looking for ways in which we can make the best use of our waste to have a positive impact on our environment, and this project is a great way to reuse incinerated sludge ash which has traditionally been sent to landfill.

“With new building regulations coming into force in the next few years home builders will need to reduce the embedded carbon cost of all new homes – the bricks and blocks will provide a perfect alternative to traditional house bricks.”

A scale production plant is in design and is planned for operation in 2012.

Encos masonry blocks and bricks have been calculated to achieve a reduction of 160% and 120% respectively in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to traditional clay bricks and concrete blocks.

Latest news

Interserve agrees £292m rescue funding with banks

Banks extend borrowing facility to £834m in short-term fix for Interserve
19 hours ago

£5bn Southern Construction Framework renewal race starts

Eleven contractors in fight to retain places on UK's largest regional framework
5 hours ago

Sunderland council rebids Carillion Vaux brewery project

Work set to restart on Sunderland business district scheme
4 hours ago

PwC racks up £20m fees since Carillion collapse

PwC is charging 12,500 a week for each member of staff
20 hours ago

Crossrail construction enters final stages: Picture special

Latest site shots released as nine-month countdown to completion begins
5 hours ago

BAM confirmed for £65m Leeds Uni science complex

Work starts on University's largest ever single project investment
17 hours ago

New UK Managing Director at Turner & Townsend

Patricia Moore promoted to run whole UK operation
22 hours ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 weeks ago

Cladding specialist Cover Structure goes into administration

Robertson takes over from stricken subcontractor on Aberdeen conference centre
2 days ago

Watkin Jones 780-bed Coventry student scheme approved

Student accommodation builder's work pipeline swells to nearly 10,000 rooms
1 day ago

Rival rescues Hydrock division from administration

Vertase FLI swoops to safeguard jobs under threat at QDS Contracting
1 day ago

BAM gets planning for £23m Aylesbury school

Work to start next month on Buckinghamshire secondary school
1 day ago

Procure North West launches £2bn bid race

New north west region public building framework launched
1 day ago

Kier clinches £57m student village for Warwick Uni

Five student blocks to be demolished to make way for new buildings
2 days ago

Clugston to start work on £25m Hull warehouse

Arco national distribution centre will be extended for extra 220,000 sq ft
2 days ago

McAlpine JV wins pre-construction deal on £466m hospital

J3 Limited joint venture chosen for new Jersey hospital
2 days ago

Lendlease and McLaren win £1bn Manchester St John’s scheme

Enabling work to start next month on St John's neighbourhood
2 days ago

DNA research firm to build new plant in Oxfordshire

Oxford Nanopore reveals plans for new manufacturing centre after £100m cash injection
2 days ago

Urban & Civic praises speedy planners

Developer gets green light in just 20 weeks for 2,800 new homes
2 days ago

Mears chases £2bn bid pipeline after profits weaken

Mears suffers challenging year after Grenfell disaster and Middle East contract hits
2 days ago

Stalled Angelgate site put up for sale

Land earmarked for blighted Manchester resi scheme to go under auctioneer's hammer
3 days ago

£36m Cardiff student block set for planning OK

Crosslane gets go-ahead for 384-bed scheme
3 days ago

Vinci UK profits soar despite £18m civils loss

Profit boost from land disposal offsets further losses at Taylor Woodrow
3 days ago

FRC launches probe into Carillion finance directors

Investigation into Richard Adam and Zafar Khan over preparation of financial accounts back to 2014
3 days ago

Kier set for £48m Pirbright animal virus research lab

Work due to start before end of 2018 on the high containment large animal facility
3 days ago

Wates sees order book swell to record £5.1bn

Contractor confident about future prospects as it offers new roles to former Carillion staff
3 days ago

Engie to start stripping cladding on East London tower blocks

Canning Town and Plaistow Tower housing blocks get reclad go-ahead
3 days ago

Passer-by raises safety alarm over solar panel contractor

Director and contractor fined after ignoring safety warnings
3 days ago

RSK buys ground investigation specialist

Central Alliance is latest deal in acquisition spree by consultant
6 days ago

Plans in for Cheesegrater’s big brother in London

Tapering skyscraper at 100 Leadenhall will tower over the Cheesegrater
6 days ago

Contractor services