Novagg – the world’s greenest lightweight aggregate
21 February 2013 - 15:53
UK-based partnership develops low-carbon lightweight aggregate from 98% recycled waste materials
RESPONDING the global construction industry’s need for a range of sustainable products – including both lightweight aggregate for making concrete blocks as well as higher-strength pellets for use in structural-grade concrete – what is being hailed as the world’s greenest lightweight aggregate, Novagg, has been developed in the UK.
Made using 98% recycled waste materials, unsorted mixed coloured waste glass (cullet) is chemically and physically modified with the addition of different industrial waste streams diverted from landfill to produce the new material.
Novagg can be engineered to a very high specification to suit customer requirements, including very low water absorption (less than 7%). And being produced at a temperature some 400°C less than is normal for comparable products, it has a substantially lower carbon footprint.
Novagg was developed in a £1 million, three-year research and development project in collaboration with Imperial College London and a leading industrial partner, and co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.
Work is now under way with several multi-national companies to put Novagg on the commercial stage in a bid to become the global ‘green’ construction material of choice.
Spearheading the project are Mike Evans, who developed the product, and project manager Bert Bingham, who together set up Nottinghamshire-based Claylite Aggregates Ltd with the sole intention of developing and commercializing innovative and sustainable lightweight aggregates.
‘We have an international patent application already in place and collaborative work is now being carried out in testing materials for several multi-national companies,’ said Mr Bingham. ‘In addition, we have a major international industrial group working with us as an informal partner on process technology.
‘We are now looking for global partners across the supply chain, from waste producers to end-users, in order to share in the benefits of this exciting new product, and to deliver successful projects worldwide. We are working closely with our partners and the help of UK Trade & Investment and the Technology Strategy Board to this end.’