Organic chemists at Australia’s Flinders University have developed building materials composed of industrial waste products.

The new type of polymer brick is composed of waste cooking oil mixed with petroleum refining byproducts sulfur and dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). According to its developers, the low-cost feedstocks bonded together via an adhesive-free chemical reaction.

Source: Flinders UniversitySource: Flinders University

"The bricks bond together without mortar upon application of a trace amount of amine catalyst,” the researchers explained.

"The bonding in this novel catalytic process is very strong, producing a sustainable construction material with its own mortar which will potentially streamline construction," the researchers concluded.

Further, the Flinders University team tested the mechanical properties of the new bricks and examined ways to reinforce them for the construction industry — for instance, by adding carbon fiber fillers to the mixture.

The study, Chemically Activated S—S Metathesis for Adhesive‐Free Bonding of Polysulfide Surfaces, appears in the journal Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics.

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