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The reuse of quarry scraps: volcanic rocks for sustainable construction

April 10th, 2024
 - 16:50

Italy is a country poor in raw materials, but it has volcano-sedimentary rock deposits that supply the needs of the floriculture, technical green and construction sectors. However, mining activities produce scraps of pumice and lapillus with a diameter of less than 3 mm, which are stored in the mining area in quantities exceeding 350,000 m3 and find little commercialization.

With a view to the circular economy, the aforementioned geomaterials, and particularly their scraps, have been used to obtain products belonging to the following sectors:

  1. traditional ceramics
  2. cementitious materials
  3. green infrastructure.

A sustainable building was designed in terms of tiles, concrete parts, green roofs and roof gardens based on recovered raw materials mixed with domestic natural raw materials. In this study, pumice scraps and/or lapillus from 5 to 30% by weight were successfully introduced into the formulation of ceramic tiles and cement mixtures, as well as fertilizers. The benefit obtained is in terms of reducing the use of virgin raw materials and increasing the use of secondary raw materials, controlling CO2 emissions, saving energy, creating green infrastructure (green roofs, vertical forests) for cooling and ornamental purposes, and in the direction of biophilic design.

Acknowledgements. The authors thank CERAMICHE CCV CASTELVETRO SPA (Technical Direction: Eng. Pier Paolo Benassi) and CISMONDI COMMERCIALE S.R.L. (Dr. Luigi Cismondi).



Environmental Sustainability Engineer, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy

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