Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Recycling glass for the construction industry

Glass is a widespread packaging material. Being a unique packaging material, it contributes not only to the quality of products, but also to the quality of the environment. Most recycling techniques are focused on reusing glass within the same industry. A new breakthrough development has succeeded in turning glass scrap into construction material components with enhanced features for heat insulation and fire protection.
Recycling glass for the construction industry
It is hardly surprising that so many of the best-known quality products are packed in glass. Compared to other packaging materials, it perfectly preserves flavours, fragrances and the wholesomeness of its contents and displays them beautifully for the benefit of consumers, retailers and packer/fillers. Not only does it exert these features, but it also contributes to environmental protection, since it is one of the most commonly-used recycling materials. Glass can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of quality and consequently, recycled glass packaging is extensively used in many market sectors from wine and beer to spirits and foods.

Exceeding this limited application area, a newly developed glass recycling technology succeeded in converting glass waste into useful components for the construction material industry. The patented technique processes solid wastes with high glass contents for the production of the so called Geofil bubbles, which are lightweight granules of 5-25 mm and can be easily embedded in gypsum, concrete or silicate matrices to produce building blocks. The resulting building blocks have excellent heat and sound insulation specifications, increased crushing strength and even fireproof capabilities.

This breakthrough technique deals mainly with the problems of waste and the benefits of recycling. As such, it reduces waste disposal costs and minimises landfill requirements. By using waste material that substitutes raw material, such as mined basalt, sand, perlite, gravel. It also contributes to further reductions in environmental impact and promotes environmental conservation. Beyond recycling, this valuable material can be extensively used by the construction industry for producing heat and sound insulating plasters and layers, heat insulating floor tiling elements (in floor heating systems), protecting bridges against freeze, lightweight concrete blocks and sound bluster walls.
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