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Company turns crushed ceramic into new construction material

Global Goals & Global Society
Company turns crushed ceramic into new construction material

New waste-free recycling devised in Mallorca allows crushed stone and ceramics to be turned into an impressive new eco-friendly building material.

A Mallorcan design initiative has come up with a water-absorbing mortar made from masonry waste from the island archipelago. This eco-friendly building material not only generates zero additional waste products, but also no additional emissions from transportation, as it is created locally.

Majorcan ecological building material

How much construction waste can be generated on a few islands such as the Balearic Archipelago? Clearly, Mallorca is a major vacation destination, but the rest of the islands of the Balearic archipelago in Spain are very small.

According to an initiative of the Balearic Institute for Business Innovation, these tiny islands generate 250,000 tons of ceramic, stone and concrete waste from construction and demolition.

With few sustainable landfill options, this waste must be shipped to the mainland, which involves a fleet of barges and trucks waiting offshore, as well as dump trucks and excavators to transfer it all.

To try to disrupt this wasteful supply chain and create something more circular, LOOP sought to isolate the main waste products and identify their possible relationships. Mallorca produces a lot of ceramics, not only tiles but also bricks. When crushed with wall and foundation stone, the addition of a natural white cement created a "hygroscopic" mortar.

A new building material

Apart from paving stones, the mortar is suitable for all large construction projects that must meet strict EU energy standards, but also for the renovation of historic properties.

"Hygroscopic" means that, like silica gel bead packs, the mortar attracts and retains moisture inside. Ideal for keeping moisture out of sensitive environments.

It also lends itself to drainage, allowing water to seep naturally into the soil or be captured and retained in lower layers for later reuse or controlled deposition.

In view of global warming and the climate crisis, it is more important than ever to minimize the impact of construction measures on ecosystems and the environment. The use of resource-conserving, sustainable materials is of central importance here.


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