Researchers Found A Way To Make Bricks Out Of Human Waste

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Searching for more sustainable building materials, scientists have found a way to transform human waste into bricks which can be used for building.

Researchers Found A Way To Make Bricks Out Of Human Waste

Searching for more sustainable building materials, scientists have found a way to transform human waste into bricks which can be used for building.


However, human feces only accounts for 25 percent of the material in the bricks, and the remaining 75 percent is made out of traditional clay. Even with using mostly clay, the process would still cut down on 30 percent of the biosolid material which is sent away to landfills, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from RMIT University in Australia.


The study, published in the journal Buildings, explained:


“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 percent of biosolids are unused and stockpiled.”


For the study, prototypes of those bricks were made and tested to compare with traditional building materials. The tests discovered that the bricks were sturdy and would hold up to the most stringent world building regulations. The creation of the bricks also uses less energy than traditional building materials, and they're better for insulation as well. Adding that extra material would also cut down on the amount of clay and sand which is used for building.


Researchers Found A Way To Make Bricks Out Of Human Waste

Abbas Mohajerani with a biosolids brick


In the book, The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization, the author Vince Beiser claims that the world is running out of the sand to keep up with the current demand of products from concrete to computer chips.


The dredging projects to harvest sand and clay has also a notably detrimental impact on the environment as some of the best clay for buildings is taken from beneath waterways, causing significant damage to the local wildlife and ecosystem.


Professor Abbas Mohajerani, a civil engineer in RMIT’s School of Engineering and one of the lead researchers in the study, noted that this new process could help alleviate two separate environmental issues simultaneously, both the overabundance of biosolid waste and the unsustainable soil evacuation required for traditional building materials.


Image credits: RMIT University

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Thinking Humanity: Researchers Found A Way To Make Bricks Out Of Human Waste
Researchers Found A Way To Make Bricks Out Of Human Waste
Searching for more sustainable building materials, scientists have found a way to transform human waste into bricks which can be used for building.
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