Hyderabad: Researchers from IIT Hyderabad and KIIT Bhubaneswar have developed a way to make bricks using agricultural waste. They have dubbed their innovation the ‘bio-brick.’
The research was undertaken by Priyabrata Rautray, a PhD scholar in IIT-H’s design department, and Avik Roy, an assistant professor from KIIT School of Architecture.
They have presented their work at the International Conference of Engineering Design held in the Netherlands.
A release from IIT-H explains how the bricks are made. Dry waste such as paddy straws, wheat straws, sugarcane bagasse and cotton plant are chosen carefully.
The bagasse is first chopped, a lime-based slurry is prepared and the chopped waste is added to it for mixing. This creates a homogenous mixture.
This mixture is poured into moulds and rammed with a wooden block to make a compact brick. These moulds and then the bricks are left to dry for nearly 20 days. The bricks take a month’s time to attain their working strength by air-drying.
The research team received a special recognition trophy for ‘sustainable housing’ at the Rural Innovators Start-Up Conclave 2019 organised recently by the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (NIRDPR), Hyderabad.
In the release, Dr Rautray said 22 per cent of the country’s total annual CO2 emissions came from the construction sector. “Clay bricks, for instance, use up a lot of fertile topsoil. Manufacturing them also causes significant emissions of carbon dioxide,” he said.
The second advantage of the innovation is the use of agriculture waste.
According to the researchers, of the 500 million tonnes of such waste produced in the country every year, 84 to 141 million tonnes are burnt, resulting in severe air pollution harming the environment.