Bricks from waste and desert sand (SciDevNet)

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Researchers make bricks from waste, desert sand

by Wagdy Sawahel

Algerian and Malaysian researchers have designed cheap eco-friendly bricks that can be made from waste materials.

Population growth in many urban areas of the developing world is outstripping available housing, prompting interest in making bricks from cheap and durable local materials. Fifty six per cent of the African population is expected to live in urban areas by 2030 (up from 18 per cent in 1950).

Malaysian scientists at the Tenaga National University have produced prototype bricks using waste from the mining, coal and steel industries. They mixed the materials — including quarry dust, the iron oxide that forms on steel during production, and ash from furnaces — with cement and water.

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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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