Recycle cigarette butts to produce building bricks used in architecture

In a recent study by RMIT University students on waste management and recycling practices, cigarette butt recycling can contribute to reducing energy consumption in brick production and reducing conductivity. the heat of the brick, that’s really good for the environment.
As reported in the study, cigarette butts are the world’s most commonly discarded single piece of waste with an estimated 5.7 trillion pieces consumed globally (in 2006). However, the materials in cigarette butts, especially their filter, are very harmful to the environment due to their poor biodegradability, leading to the need for research on cigarette butt recycling to be able to contribute to the protection of our increasingly polluted environment.

In a study by RMIT University students, cigarette butts were recycled into complementary materials for building bricks. The research by RMIT undergraduates builds on and builds on an earlier study by Mohajerani et (2016) that tested the addition of discarded cigarette butts into clay bricks for use in architecture. . In this study, RMIT University students discovered that this option contributes to reducing the energy consumed in the brick manufacturing process and reducing the thermal conductivity of the bricks, which is really good for the environment. .

However, before successfully putting this recycling method into use, they also need to solve many other problems that arise, especially the easy infection of bacteria. Let’s explore this research in more detail so that we can understand the relevance of cigarette butts to the architecture industry and better envision the future that can be applied to building architecture. modern construction.
According to research, cigarette butts can be added as additional materials to bricks through one of three general methods:

– Add all cigarette butts

– Chop them up

– Add pre-mixed brick clay with a prepared amount of cigarette butts.

In general, each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The process after the cigarette butts were added and the firing process started did indeed contribute to the reduction of the energy required to successfully fire the bricks due to the high calorific value of the cigarette butts. Therefore, Mohajerani et al. have found that for every 1% of cigarette butts produced together with 2.5% of bricks produced annually globally, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 20 billion MJ, equivalent to saving electricity consumption of 1 million homes annually in Victoria, Australia. With this new form of recycling, the future of brick manufacturing and largely architecture can benefit significantly from a reduced environmental impact.

In addition, according to the study, the addition of this recycled material also has a more or less effect on varying the properties of the bricks. Most notably, the team found that the greater the ash content, the lower the compressive strength of the brick, which can negatively impact the structural performance of the material. Another effect that also attracts research is that the corresponding decrease in density increases the ability to absorb cold water and reduces the thermal conductivity of bricks. Furthermore, a special effect is noticed that has positive implications for further energy savings if used in architectural works.
However, a major pressing concern remains the problem of microbial contamination of cigarette butts, therefore, testing brick materials incorporating cigarette butts may be judged as unsafe or even unsafe. even hazardous to the health of the user. In addition, volatile organic compounds emitted by cigarette butts cause unpleasant odors.

To overcome this situation, the team proposed a sterilization process that includes naphthalene, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet light, or dry and wet heat treatment. Accordingly, the advantages and disadvantages of each method separately and the necessary notes to ensure safety are also described in detail by the research team. For example: The use of ozone has been described as more appropriate when incorporated into the need for moisture control in bricks and more suitable for large-scale cleaning plants. As for dealing with the odor problem, the authors listed UV as a solution, but also acknowledged that more research was needed in this regard.

Thus, the study shows that the method of incorporating cigarette butts into architectural bricks to create different effects has many positive benefits. It has been very detailed in terms of precautions, procedures, and structural and environmental effects. While further research is still needed if this recycling method is to be truly applied in a wide range of applications, the team agrees that the prerequisites for this new method to be successful are: : gather recyclable materials, address pre-disposal problems, install cigarette butts collection bins in convenient locations, and educate their research success to commit to applying them.

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