Henry Liu, a retired civil engineer, has won the Popular Science 2007 Invention Award for producing a replacement for the more than 9 billion clay bricks manufactured in the US each year. Manufactured from fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion with a worldwide surplus production running in the hundreds of millions of tons each year, these new bricks are as strong and safe as the bricks we're all used to seeing, cost 20% less to make, and are far more environmentally friendly.
Old 'n' Busted: clay bricks are fired in a kiln at over 2000Â°F (1100Â°C). New Hotness: Liu's new building material is cured in a 150Â°F (66Â°C) steam bath after exiting a 4000 psi (28,000 kPa) press, saving massive amounts of energy and reducing the carbon footprint for builders considerably. In addition, the new bricks are easier to use which will save bricklayers time, and homebuilders money. To top it all off, the bricks may also improve air quality.
Having recently passed federal safety standards in the US, Liu will begin licensing his technology to manufacturers in 2008.
written by David Gaian, June 14, 2007
written by Dave Spicer, June 14, 2007
written by fred, June 15, 2007
written by Vincenze, June 16, 2007
written by Beth, June 23, 2007
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