Spanish Scientists Make Bricks From Paper Waste

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Spanish scientists run a combination of paper waste and clay through a pressurized machine to create bricks. Photo: University of Jaén

Spanish scientists at the University of Jaén have developed a way to turn paper waste into bricks – though there is still a long way to go before the bricks are as stable as standard clay bricks, the report concludes.

The researchers collected cellulous waste from a paper factory, including the byproduct sludge in the papermaking process, and combined it with construction clay. The concoction is then run through a pressurized machine to form it into bricks. The bricks are finally fired in a kiln to make them firm and durable.

Adding waste to the brick making process allows organic content material to help fuel the machines, which could effectively help reduce fuel consumption.

While paper waste bricks still aren’t as durable as 100 percent clay bricks, they are still above the legal minimum for building. Plus, they have low thermal conductivity, which means they would be an efficient insulator, the report published in Fuel Processing Technology says. Still, the researchers know the bricks should be stronger, so they’re moving forward with that mission in mind – perhaps adding other raw waste like sewage sludge, spent beer grain, olive byproducts and more, according to Treehugger.com.