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Cooking with paper slug, char and clay at a London industrial park

On the  26th of February the Institute for Sustainability officially opened  the UK’s first cross-business Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) demonstrator at the London Sustainable Industries Park (London SIP) in Barking, Dagenham. The demonstration facility is an important investment within the C2C BIZZ project.  The C2C demonstrator shows how nil or low value industrial waste should be considered as a resource for new products. Darryl Newport from the University of East London explained the machine’s sophisticated ‘cooking’ process.

Now the machine is in place the PhD research can go one step further than the ‘laboratory bench phase’.  The machine can validate what are the best ways to produce lightweight aggregate at a commercial scale from residual wastes produced by local industrial processes. Local manufacturers include TEG (anaerobic digestion and composting plant), Chinook Urban Mining (gasification plant) and Closed Loop Recycling (Plastic Recycling Facility). Their residual products include for example hot water, paper slug, low grade  plastics and char.

Together with clay from the London area the machine produces little ceramic balls  that can be used as substrate for green rooftops or as building material for the London SIP area. Due to the used process the heavy metals, that may still be present in the substrate, are captured inside the globules and won’t leak into the environment. If the Space Shuttle can enter the atmosphere safely by using ceramic tiles it is easy for me to believe that these globules will hold and give residual waste a new and valuable purpose.

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