Thursday, 4 February 2010

Sustainability Talk 1: RockTron

Last Thursday (28th January) we held our first talk in a Sustainability Series, where inventor and entrepreneur, Philip Michael, showed his innovative transformation of waste flyash into the carbon-positive RockTron Alpha, which has now been adopted by three of the major ready-mix companies in the UK and is generating a massive interest around the world wherever there are coal-fired power stations.

For architects wanting colour-consistent fair-face concrete this is exciting news, as the Alpha product is a pure light grey in colour, which is unlike PFAs that still contain mobile heavy metals, including iron, and so have a yellowy hue.
RockTron's proprietary benefication process designed to recycle 100% of fly ash waste from coal-fire power stations produces five valuable eco-minerals; one of which is recycled carbon fuel reburnt in the power stations, producing more energy than the manufacturing process uses. RockTron are now exploring uses for these other high-performance by-products in the Pre-cast concrete, Thermoplastics, Vinyl and Tyre Manufacturing industries, as well as light-weight fillers for the Automotive, Aeropace and the Electronics industries, thus 'greening' a number of supply chains. RockTron, who have already won the Nicklin Medal at the IChemE Awards were also awarded the Fossil Fuels award at the Rushlight Awards for their technology advancement in reducing the need for burning fossil fules.

More information on RockTron can be found at their website

This picture illustrates raw fly ash before processing where the carbon; CarbTron are separated leaving the cleaner Alpha product. The photos were taken with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).

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