Mankind uses building materials taken from the earth since our memory reaches. Like all commodities, these materials are gradually decreasing. Mining and dredging takes its toll on the devastated landscape.
How Can Be Human Waste Utilized?
Scientists have found a way to use human excrement to produce building materials – bricks. Although bricks contain only 25% of human waste and 75% of clay, the 25% of bio-solid waste can help alleviate land extraction used for traditional building materials (clay, sand, etc.)
A study led by RMIT University in Australia, published in the journal Buildings, states:
“Millions of tonnes of leftover biosolids are increasingly stockpiled every year around the globe. Biosolids are a product of the wastewater sludge treatment process. Stockpiles necessitate the use of large areas of increasingly valuable land. Biosolids have many beneficial uses and are currently utilized in agricultural and land rehabilitation applications. However, it is estimated that 30% of biosolids are unused and stockpiled.”
Alternative Bricks vs. Traditional Ones
The study compared bricks made partly from biomass with bricks made from traditional building materials. According to the trial, the bricks are sturdy, isolate well and would hold up to the most stringent global building regulations. Less energy is consumed during production.
Dredging in waterways causes enormous damage to wildlife and the ecosystem. Restricting the extraction of clay and sand would be beneficial to the environment. The study explains:
“A second and seemingly unrelated environmental issue is the massive excavation of virgin soil for brick production. The annual production of 1500 billion bricks globally requires over 3.13 billion cubic meters of clay soil—equivalent to over 1000 soccer fields dug 440 m deep or to a depth greater than three times the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
Professor Abbas Mohajerani, one of the lead researchers in the study in RMIT’s School of Engineering and a civil engineer, informs: „More than 3 billion cubic metres of clay soil is dug up each year for the global brickmaking industry, to produce about 1.5 trillion bricks, “and adds: „Using biosolids in bricks could be the solution to these big environmental challenges. It’s a practical and sustainable proposal for recycling the biosolids currently stockpiled or going to landfill around the globe. “
Let’s keep fingers crossed for researchers to find other possible alternatives to building materials, as well as further use of human waste.
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