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Work begins on new Avonmouth plant for Carbon8

Carbon8 Avonmouth plant

Production of carbon negative aggregate set to double by the end of 2015

THE construction industry is set to benefit as Carbon8, the company behind the revolutionary carbon negative aggregate, takes a major step closer to doubling production capacity by the end of the year.

Since its launch in 2012, demand for carbon-negative lightweight aggregates has been rising steadily as the building sector looks for sustainable alternatives to the increasingly short supply of natural aggregates.

To meet this growing demand, Carbon8 have started construction work on their new £4 million manufacturing facility at Avonmouth, near Bristol, and once completed the plant is expected to supply an additional 100,000 tonnes of Carbon8 aggregate (C8A) products a year to the construction industry.

Steve Greig, managing director of Carbon8, said: ‘C8A provides a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to natural aggregates at a time when demand from the building industry is outstripping supply. We have already been talking to a number of potential local outlets and interest has been strong, so we expect orders to increase considerably once production begins in November.

‘One tonne of C8A is equivalent in volume to 1.4 tonnes of natural aggregate; it’s a win-win situation, we are reducing the need to use irreplaceable natural resources while providing the industry with a much-needed product which is environmentally sound and extremely effective.’

The company uses an award-winning patented technique, known as Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT), to process residues from Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities. Carbon8 say that by permanently capturing more carbon dioxide than is generated during manufacture, they are able to produce the ‘world’s first truly carbon-negative aggregate’.

Complying with all industry certification and quality systems, the lightweight aggregate can be used for a wide range of applications including: the manufacture of concrete masonry blocks; ready-mixed and pre-cast concrete applications; as well as screed, kerbstones and drainage pipes.

A number of blockmakers are already using C8A produced at the company’s existing plant in Suffolk. At least 20 new jobs will be created at the three-acre Avonmouth facility, which will permanently capture nearly 2,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – equivalent to planting 200,000 trees.

The new Carbon8 plant will provide EfW operators with an alternative to disposing of flue gas residues into landfill and high demand means more than 75% of the facility’s future capacity has already been contracted. The company is currently in advanced negotiations with other operators for the remaining available space.

Built to complement Carbon8’s existing Brandon facility in Suffolk, the new development has been designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. All the manufacturing processes are contained within the new building to minimize impact on the immediate surroundings, while efficiency measures include the harvesting of rainwater and zero emissions.

The facility also has silo storage for incoming incinerator residues, storage for associated fillers and binders, a new building to house the processing equipment, and covered storage bays for the aggregates.

Initial civil engineering works are being carried out by Churngold Construction, while Worksop-based Wright Engineering, who built the Brandon facility, are responsible for the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the process equipment.

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