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This project, funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung, is supported by the following project partners: ETH; Oxara
Project no: GRS-044/19
Amount of funding: CHF 150'000
Duration: 01.2020 - 11.2021
Area of activity:
InnoBooster, seit 2018
Dr. Gnanli Landrou
Institut für Bau- und Infrastrukturmanagement (IBI)
Stefano Franscini Platz 5
8093 Zürich (Schweiz)
Construction industry is using sand and gravels which are getting scarce around large cities as well as cement which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. 5 to 10 % of global CO2 emissions comes from cement, while gravel and sand weight 40% of all resources consumed by human activities. Furthermore, the resources scarcity and depletion increase the cost of the materials. Meanwhile before erecting buildings, a large amount of excavation material is removed to build foundations. This material is later landfilled but it is so abundant that it could directly replace the demand for sand, gravel and its composition is often close to earth which has been used as a vernacular construction material all over the world for centuries.
The technology proposed by Oxara is simply to process the excavation material as fast and as easily as we usually do with concrete but without adding cement and depleting resources. To do so, we developed mineral additives that transforms excavation material into sustainable concrete "Cleancrete". Although we reach a mechanical performance for low rise houses (2-3 storeys) or non-load bearing element in high rise building, our technology provides for the first time to excavated materials the processing advantage of concrete but it is cheaper and 90% more eco-friendly. In order to exploit the market potential estimated to €173 billion in Europe in 2016, we applied for a patent and engaged with early adopters for industrial demonstration.
What is special about the project?
We are now able to turn excavation construction waste into building materials. The implementation of our technology will provide to Swiss construction economy a competitive advantage in redefining the construction industry and will create new job opportunities. At global scale, re-using excavation materials with our additives reduce the use of cement responsible of 7% of global CO2 emission,
our technology could reduce concrete consumption by 10% and enable sustainable future cities but also enable access to sustainable and affordable housing.
We focused on improving the admixtures products and getting the product ready to market. We also investigated the development of new admixtures. Besides the admixtures and technological aspect, we validated at laboratory and industrial scale the efficiency of the admixtures for different application. The next steps in the development consisted of testing the admixtures with potential customers at industrial scale. We also worked intensively with partners for the liquid soil demonstration. The feedbacks were positive as we are now discussing project cooperation and partnership with the different actors in order to bring the product to market by end 2021.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 11.02.2021