This initiative tackles three major challenges often faced by developing countries: a shortage of conventional construction materials due to limited availability of natural resources; the pollution from energy-intensive production of building materials and the accumulation of unmanaged agricultural waste.
Turning these three problems into an opportunity, experiments were carried out to discover whether sugarcane bagasse ash (SBA) could be the main raw material for a new type of energy efficient and sustainable brick.
Bagasse ash is a fibrous by-product that arises after sugarcane stalks are crushed. It is also used as a biofuel. Raw lime, which is a lower-embodied energy binder, was used as a replacement for cement in the development of this innovative and sustainable masonry product.
The research focused on mixing different proportions of sugarcane bagasse ash, quarry dust (QD) and lime (L) to create the optimum product, known as SBA-QD-L Brick. The resulting SBA-QD-L building block is lightweight, energy-efficient and sustainable that meets Indian Standards.The developed product as uses by-product is also a cost effective.
The further product enhancement with similar ingredient was used to develop the cellular light weight bricks which were further physically implemented in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India. The identified bagasse as was also found useful as an ingredient for mortar and concrete preparation.
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You can read more on this particular innovation at the CIOB’s International Innovation & Research Awards here.
Mangesh Madurwar & Rahul Ralegaonkar, CIOB I&R Awards 2013 Winner, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology