Innovation That Matters

Cooking oil could be an unlikely ingredient in building blocks | Photo source Pexels

Building bricks made from cooking oil

Property & Construction

A team of researchers has developed the polymer bricks, which require no adhesives

Spotted: In recent years, there has been an increased focus on developing sustainable building materials. This is due to the high environmental costs associated with traditional building materials, such as cement, iron, and steel. Now, chemists at Flinders University are working on more sustainable alternatives made from waste products.

The research team is investigating a new type of brick made from waste cooking oil mixed with sulphur and dicyclopentadiene – both byproducts of petroleum refining. A sulphur-sulphur chemical bond means that the polymer bricks’ can be bound together without mortar, and the bricks were found to be strong, durable, and suitable for a range of applications.

The team is continuing to research the properties of the bricks. In a recent study, which was published in the journal Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, the researchers looked at reinforcing them further by adding carbon fibre fillers.

Next up, the University’s new polymer research team will partner with startup Clean Earth Technologies to explore the scale-up and commercialisation of the new materials.

As the world looks for ways to build more sustainably, it is clear that research into alternative building materials will play an important role. Springwise has spotted a number of innovations looking at sustainable building materials. These include, bio-based carbon-negative insulation made from grass, cement strengthened with shrimp shells, and a construction material made from plastic waste. 

Written By: Katrina Lane

Website: flinders.edu.au

Contact: flinders.edu.au/about/contact-us

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