Difficult-to-Recycle Plastics Comprise this Concrete Block Alternative

The city of Boise, Idaho partnered up with ByFusion—an LA-based processor that uses steam and compression to squeeze plastic into blocks—to find a new way to reuse plastics that can’t be recycled. These blocks, dubbed ByBlocks, are the same dimensions as concrete blocks (eight by eight by 16 inches) as well as the same R-Value. Unlike concrete, however, ByBlocks are 10 pounds lighter, have Lego-like …

Turning Concrete Buildings Into Large Batteries

Though the technology needed to transform a concrete building into a rechargeable battery has existed since the early 20th century, new research from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology affirms that it’s possible to implement right now within many of the world’s pre-existing concrete buildings. According to Luping Tang of Chalmers and Emma Zhang of engineering and technology company Delta of Sweden, embedding carbon fibers (among …

Affordable Plastic Waste Bricks That Are Stronger Than Concrete

Materials engineer Nzambi Matee—the founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers—not only invented a brick made from plastic waste that’s stronger than concrete, but she also set up the factory after losing patience waiting for government funding. The bricks are made from a blend of discarded high-density polyethylene (traditionally used for products like shampoo bottles), low-density polyethylene (plastic bags) and polypropylene (used for tougher items like buckets)—all …