New instrument ensures quality in recycled concrete

Today's building standards allow for the use of recycled concrete as aggregate in new concrete. The recycling of non-hazardous building materials such as concrete is a milestone in Sweden's environmental objectives. Recycling of concrete thus becomes a new recycling chain that has good potential for creating new jobs in an area that increases resource efficiency in society.

Researchers in the project "RE:Concrete" at the University of Borås work to ensure that the technology that allows for the recycling of concrete into new concrete is safe.

Agnes Nagy, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Resource Recovery and Building Technology and project leader for RE:Concrete, explains that the recycling of concrete is not only a technology but also an issue of sustainability.  

"The issue is of a circular economical nature, which includes a life cycle analysis of concrete elements made with recycled concrete, and in which transport and logistics issues are included to support the concrete recycling chain," she says.

During the spring, it was announced that the researchers in the project received funds from Sparbanksstiftelsen Sjuhärad for the project "Research on the water absorption of recycled concrete."

What are you going to do in the project?

"We will buy instruments to ensure the quality of the recycled aggregate and thus also of the new concrete that we mix the aggregate into."

What are you hoping for when it comes to results?

"We have already done an assessment of possible instruments that we can use. Discussions are ongoing about the type of instruments and service agreements that are included in the purchase."

"Upon purchasing, we will be able to evaluate the recovered aggregate's properties and modify them to fit new concrete. We expect that, with the help of the instruments, we will be able to modulate the characteristics of the aggregate to fit into several different concrete recipes."

What does it mean that you received money from Sparbanksstiftelsen Sjuhärad?

"Financing enables both the development of new technology and the establishment of a sustainable recycling chain for concrete in the Sjuhärad region."

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The contribution is awarded on Days of Knowledge on 11 December. Read more about the event

About the Concrete Lab

About Re:Concrete

About Agnes Nagy

Text: Anna Kjellsson
Photo: Suss Wilén
Translation: Eva Medin