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New technology produces 'carbon-negative' building block

The global mission to establish increasingly sustainable means of living seems to produce new technical developments for the construction industry on a daily basis, requiring professionals to keep up-to-date with the very latest methods, tools and materials.

One of the newest – and potentially most significant – developments is the creation of what its developers are calling “the world’s first carbon-negative building block”.

Lignacite, the long-established manufacturer of masonry products, has unveiled its Carbon Buster block, a high-strength building brick that has been developed with Carbon8 Aggregates using accelerated carbonation technology. More than 50 per cent of each block is made from recycled aggregates, while the rest of the material is produced from Carbon8’s carbonated aggregates, which are derived from the by-products of waste from energy plants.

Lignacite has claimed that the material they have produced makes for a very high-performance construction block that has captured more carbon dioxide during its construction process than it has produced – amounting to some 14 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per tonne.

The technical director of Carbon8 said that they had used research carried out at the University of Greenwich’s School of Science to devise the material.

“On the back of [the research], Carbon8 identified an end use for thermal residues from waste to energy plants,” she explained. “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.”

The material is produced at Carbon8’s