Concrete rubble from destroyed buildings in Syria can be safely recycled into new concrete, scientists have shown, which will make the rebuilding of the war-hit country faster, cheaper and greener.
Syria, which was also hit by a huge earthquake in February, has a vast amount of concrete rubble, estimated at 40m tonnes. The key barrier to recycling this waste is ensuring that the new concrete is as strong and safe as conventional concrete.
Scientists in Syria, the UK and Turkey have now demonstrated that using recycled concrete to replace half of the aggregate in new concrete does not significantly affect its building performance.
It is the first time concrete produced using rubble from buildings destroyed by war has been shown to be safe. Recycled concrete has been produced before in other places, but testing is required in each region because of local differences in how the concrete is made.
The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and has destroyed more than 130,000 buildings, 70% of which were made from reinforced concrete. When the conflict finally ends, millions of displaced refugees are likely to return, meaning it is vital to find ways to lower the cost and increase the speed of reconstruction.
The study was led by Prof Abdulkader Rashwani, a concrete expert from Sham University in Aleppo, Syria, where more than 40% of the buildings have been destroyed.
Read more via The Guardian