Construction can be a messy process and often a wasteful one too.
Normally, crews put construction and demolition waste in the dump, but Spanish researchers say some of those materials can be used again to build something new.
The School of Building at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid says mineral wool waste can be used instead of reinforced fibers in construction. Mineral wool is an insulation made from molten glass, stone or industrial waste that is spun into a fibre-like structure.
Wool additives do the same things as mortar, and they even add insulation. They are also lighter in weight, more flexible, and reduce a construction company’s need for sand products.
Sand is in high demand world wide but supplies are running out. Turning to wool could be a more sustainable option, since it’s abundant and typically discarded. The lead researcher says up to half of the sand normally used could be replaced by the mineral wool fibers.
In a Phys.org article, the Madrid university says that wool materials make up 60% of the insulating materials used on a construction site, and up to 0.2% of the total amount of construction and demolition waste.
Reusing mineral wool is the only way it can be upcycled. It’s difficult to reuse for other purposes and has a low recycling rate.
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