Ceramic building waste recycling

altThe use of recycled ceramic material as new raw material for production is one of Wienerberger’s goals. The first applications are scheduled for a new plant in Belgium. For example, modern techniques for the identification of color differences in rubble mean that ceramic materials can be separated from other building materials and returned to production.

As a producer of bricks and roof tiles, Wienerberger company “uses” nature in a kind of symbiosis: its clay extraction procedures are designed to minimize the impact on the environment and its clay-based products are ecologically friendly. The use of recycled ceramic material as new raw material for production is one of Wienerberger’s goals. The first applications are scheduled for a new plant in Belgium. For example, modern techniques for the identification of color differences in rubble mean that ceramic materials can be separated from other building materials and returned to production.

Wienerberger works to complete the lifecycle of bricks through recycling. It has been trying to set up a system capable of filtering waste, in this case ceramic mass from worksite waste. On the one hand, ceramic materials that had been separated from other building rubble with a color scanner were purchased and tested in production. The result was a reduction in raw material requirements. On the other hand, facade material from the demolition of houses is purchased and processed into brick flour which may be recycled for the production of facing bricks. Wienerberger plans to continue efforts to realize a complete, closed recycling process in brick production.

Wienerberger is one of the first to develop the the method to separate out the red ceramic fraction from the grey concrete fraction using an optical technology. Once it is ground down, the ceramic mass can be reused as a raw material for building materials like bricks and roof tiles. The company is looking for the perfect sorting method. In addition, it wants to look into how the ceramic mass can best be ground and how the mass can be used as a raw material for new products.  Furthermore the re-use of broken ceramic waste not only will result in savings of primary raw materials, but also a reduction in emissions and primary energy use since the material has already been fired.

Barriers and Drivers
The major driver behind this innovation is the targeted investment into the research and development by the company
The cost of the recycling method is higher in comparison to traditional production method based on raw material.

Environmental Impact
re-use of broken ceramic waste will result in savings of primary raw materials and reduction in emissions and primary energy use since the material has already been fired.

Further Information

http://www.wienerberger.com/de/de/de/consumption-of-mineral-ressources.html

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