Using recycled waste to develop eco-friendly bricks

We are seeing so many innovative technologies these days. Margaret Taylor writes in Scotland’s Herald newspaper about a new business in Scotland that uses waste from demolition sites to manufacture bricks.

 

Eco-brick building a route to market

A clean technology business incubated at Heriot-Watt University is on the cusp of launching a commercialisation project that will ultimately see its eco-friendly brick brought to market.

Kenoteq, which was set up by Sam Chapman and Gabriela Medero, has prototyped an unfired brick that is made almost entirely from demolition and construction waste, and will begin small-scale production this year using £180,000 of funding received as part of the first phase of Scottish Enterprise’s high-growth spin-out programme.

“We have funding from Scottish Enterprise and now we are looking at commercialisation and looking at the route to the market,” Ms Medero said.

Mr Chapman said the initial pilot is due to take place at Hamilton Waste & Recycling using machinery rented from the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, with the longer-term aim being to roll out production to other waste recycling sites.

“Hamilton Waste & Recycling have a problem at the moment with all this waste but for our product this is the solution,” he said. “We are taking the waste from construction demolition and transforming it into building materials.

“Our model will be to work with other waste facilities as they have space and the waste materials.”

Mr Chapman said this way of working would allow the business to “stick with our circular economy approach”, with Ms Medero noting that a particular benefit would be that bricks could be produced all over Scotland rather than having to be transported from further afield.

“At the moment the production of bricks is limited to the location of where the clay can be produced,” she said. “In the last year 85 per cent of bricks used in Scotland were imported from England or Europe.”

Although the company’s bricks have so far only been tested in the lab, Ms Medero said part of the Hamilton project will be to use them to construct something large enough for “clients to see how they react to the Scottish weather”.

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