Silt NV of Antwerp and Hamburg-based Hanseaten Stein Ziegeli have signed an agreement involving the use of dredged materials for brick production.
The agreement provides for the initial production of bricks from 1,000t of material dredged from waterways in the Antwerp area.
The pilot batch of bricks will be used in the construction of Eco-home, a project sponsored by Antwerp municipality to demonstrate environmentally friendly house building techniques. Silt is among the sponsors of Eco- home, together with other members of the DEME group.
Silt's technical commercial manager Jef de Brabandere explains: 'The Hamburg brickworks was designed to test the use of novel materials for brick production. Having conducted an initial assessment we have been encouraged to go further and conduct pilot trials involving two different dredged materials.'
The Eco-Home batch will be followed by a second production run from materials dredged from rivers and waterways north of Ghent.
'We believe there is a promising future for brick production from dredged materials. At present we handle around 150,00m3 of dredged materials at two treatment centres, Ruisbroek and Krankeloon,' says de Brabandere.
'The economics of brick production for a significant proportion of volume look promising - especially for dredged materials with a low organic matter content. Treatment and disposal options are relatively expensive and brick production represents an interesting alternative.'
The Hamburg plant is already producing up to 70,000 bricks a day mainly from dredged material from the Port of Hamburg.
One critical factor when producing bricks from dredged materials is compliance with stringent flue gas emission standards, but a two year experience has shown that these can be met within the parameters for economic production
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