The use of waste clay for use in the production of cement and concrete is being tested in a research project. Research into how recycled clay can be used to recycle waste from other industries such as brick making and to create low carbon cements is being undertaken by Mineral Products Association (MPA) who have been appointed lead partner for the research.
The two year project is to be funded by Innovate UK, who are a government agency, and will use waste derived clays in order to assess the potential to reduce waste by 1.4 million tonnes and also to cut the embodied CO2 of cement between 20% and 40% compared to market leading CEM1 cements. The sources of waste clay in this project will include waste from brick manufacturing and overburden clays at quarry sites.
It is felt that by trialling the use of waste clay as a cementitious material will be a big step forward in lowering carbon and reducing waste. It can also help create a new market if the waste clay is established in the construction industry.
Using clay requires little or sometimes no heating – when compared to cement clinker production. Two heating methods are being trialled to prepare the clay for use in cement and concrete, a rotary kiln and also the flash heating technique.
This project is supported by industry partners Tarmac, Hanson, Imery’s and Forterra together with research partners from the University of London and the University of Dundee.