The term “drop a brick” might be taking on a new interpretation, a very literal one.
As cities mushroom around the globe, and the human population continues to grow, a parallel increment is unavoidable; excrement. Biosolid waste that gets flush down the toilet usually end up in landfills, or gets dumped somewhere no one will complain about. But, according to researchers from Australia’s RMIT University, these ‘biosolids’ could be used as material for making bricks.
According to researchers at RMIT University, every year the production of 1,500 billion bricks around the world requires over 3.13 billion cubic metres of clay soil. That means we diminish colossal amounts of natural soil towards creating the bricks for building our infrastructures.
Bricks have been around since 7500 BC, but their ingredients haven’t changed much. By adding 10 to 25 percent of biosolids to the brick mixture, we can greatly reduce our impingement on mother nature without jeopardizing the material strength of the bricks, the researchers said. Furthermore, adding the biosolids into the mix even reduces the amount of energy needed to bake the bricks, an essential benefit for the climate crisis we are currently facing.
“The research also showed brick firing energy demand was cut by up to 48.6% for bricks incorporating 25% biosolids. This is due to the organic content of the biosolids and could considerably reduce the carbon footprint of brick manufacturing companies.” Mohajerani, a civil engineer in RMIT’s School of Engineering, said.