BRANDON, Suffolk, U.K. — As manufacturers continue to break the mold in creating energy-efficient materials, green building will continue to improve.
The latest: British masonry producer Lignacite, in partnership with Carbon8 Aggregates, debuted what it says is the world’s first carbon-negative building block. The Carbon Buster has more than 50 percent recycled aggregates and combines with Carbon8’s carbonated aggregates to capture more carbon dioxide (14 kilograms of carbon dioxide per ton) than is emitted during its manufacture.
According to Carbon8’s Technical Director Dr. Paula Carey, the product was built based on research conducted at the University of Greenwich School of Science, allowing for Carbon8 to identify an end use for thermal residues from waste to energy plants. “By mixing the residue with water and carbon dioxide, we were able to transform the material into what the Environment Agency has agreed is a product suitable as a virgin aggregate replacement,” she said in a press statement.
After the Environment Agency reviewed the product, Carbon 8 built a $1.53 million carbonation plant next to Lignacite’s masonry plant in Brandon, Suffolk. The Carbon8 residue is carbonated and mixed with binders and fillers before being turned into pellets. Those pellets make up a key ingredient in the building block. Lignacite also uses sand and gravel from its quarry and combines it with recycled waste materials, such as wood shavings, glass and shells, to create a minimal carbon footprint for the product.
Lignacite previously tried to generate products that were carbon negative, but wasn’t able to do so until using carbon aggregates.
With the British government’s commitment to zero carbon homes, Lignacite’s Chief Executive Giles de Lotbiniere is “confident the Carbon Buster has an important role to play in helping to meet the 2016 targets,” he said in a press statement.