Blocks made from sewage cut CO2

Aaron Morby 5 years ago

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

Picture 6

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

Wates bags £130m trio of jobs for Select Property

Multi-site student accommodation building deal in Manchester, Newcastle and York
6 hours ago

Construction boss jailed for £6.9m payroll fraud

Court hears how building boss and accountant funded lavish lifetstyles with payroll scam
13 hours ago

ISG gets start date for £39m Liverpool site

Mixed-use scheme is latest phase of Knowledge Quarter development
13 hours ago

Construction plant skills card scheme under review

Future ownership of the CPCS under discussion
16 hours ago

Blaze destroys Renfrewshire timber homes site

Fire strikes at second timber frame building site in a week
16 hours ago

Costain poaches William Hare project director

Alex Smale joins Costain as construction director for Hinkley Point contract
16 hours ago

Profit slides at Osborne as legacy jobs settled

Operating margin slides to 1% but outlook remains strong
16 hours ago

Clugston bags 13th major incinerator job

Meet the buyer event to be held next month for Deeside energy from waste scheme
16 hours ago

Bidding starts on £70m Worcester Southern Link Road

Worcester's notorious Carrington Bridge will be widened to dual carriageway
16 hours ago

Unite plans 570-bed Sheffield student scheme

Student rooms developer will spend £35m on city centre project
15 hours ago

GRAHAM lands £150m Barnet major works deal

Leisure centre and school sites kick-off five-year partnership
3 days ago

Manchester 52-floor skyscraper approved

St John's Place tower at former Granada Studios site gets green light
4 days ago

Lendlease renews site access deal with HRS

Latest monitoring technology to be used at all contractor's sites
3 days ago

Michelmersh calls end to brick price rises

Increased competition sees prices remain flat
4 days ago

Pensioner killed at poorly managed roadworks

Tarmac hit with £1.3m safety fine
4 days ago

Cleveland Bridge recruits large buildings team

Steelwork contractor set sights on large building market
4 days ago

Murphy signs contract for £25m Blackpool outfall

Work to start on UK's longest and largest diameter outfall in March
4 days ago

Construction site gas leak causes chaos at King’s Cross

200 workers evacuated from North London site
4 days ago

£28m Dudley rail centre gets green light

Very Light Rail innovation centre and test-bed track approved
4 days ago

Wates confirms Paul Chandler as new construction boss

Former Skanska chief to take up the reins in January
5 days ago

Betting Spy: Contractors on a roll at awards night

Enquirer awards after party was a long night while favourites can land a 3/1 treble
4 days ago

£20m road schemes backed for 3,300 south west homes

Quartet of road improvements will unlock 3,300 new homes
4 days ago

Barratt boss arrested in contracts probe

London MD Alastair Baird suspended following major investigation
5 days ago

Laing O’Rourke to start St James Centre £1bn revamp

Demolition of old St James shopping centre in Edinburgh to take 18 months
5 days ago

Link Group names £280m Scottish new build partners

Keepmoat, Cruden, Graham and Esh secure places on central belt framewok
5 days ago

Dormant Scottish Tesco sites get £100m boost

London & Scottish Developments to start construction on ten sites
5 days ago

Civils firms slash carbon emissions in half over six years

Laing O'Rourke, Morgan Sindall and Carillion lead the low CO2 way in infrastructure
5 days ago

Plan unveiled for £48m resi tower in Liverpool

Latest 30-storey build-to-rent tower at Liverpool Waters
5 days ago

Clugston green light for £60m Sheffield IKEA

Project is the largest retail win in the region for Scunthorpe contractor
5 days ago

Travis Perkins to close over 30 branches

Builders' merchant in profit warning to the city
6 days ago