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CRC funding has assisted in the SMaRT Centre's microrecycling science journey. It has been involved in some of the developments for SMaRT's green ceramics innovations.
The CRC initiative was involved in a project that looked at glass recycling for waste reduction in built environment, specifically for glass types that cannot be conventionally recycled back into glass due to contamination issues.
Factors like impurities/additives, contaminants, and processing methods limit the recyclability of glass. Different properties of the processed glasses (i.e. soda lime window glass, lead glass, borosilicate glass etc) result in different melting points and strengths.
For instance, just 15g of ovenproof glass can contaminate one tonne of normal glass, making it useless for recycling.
The SMaRT solution has been to use waste glass as it is, without remelting, to turn it into a product and remanufacturing feedstock.
Using glass as the main material for a new 'green' breed of ceramics, other waste and natural materials were subject to new processes to investigate viability to produce building materials from waste.
Raw materials preparation
The objective of the study was to create a polymeric glass composite (PGC) panel that can serve as kitchen countertop, bathroom vanities, tiles for wall and floor.
For more details, visit SMaRT's green ceramics web page.