University of the Western Cape
Overview of innovation

The cost of building materials contributes significantly to overall construction costs, with ordinary Portland cement (OPC) being one of the main components.  The production of OPC is not environmentally friendly. It is energy-intensive, uses natural resources such as limestone and results in high carbon emissions.

Fly ash, is a waste by-product from the coal-fired electricity generating stations. Power stations need to dispose of the fly ash safely and in an environmentally friendly manner, making the need to utilise fly ash important.  The treatment of acid mine drainage and the manufacture of high silica zeolites can be done through the beneficiation of fly ash.  Another use for this by-product is in the manufacture of geopolymers. 

We have developed prototypes to manufacture geopolymer-based bricks, roof tiles, and poles/pipes.  These prototypes are based on unique formulations using fly ash as low-cost input material for building materials with varying compressive strength.

Innovation Opportunity Type
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 6 – Prototype tested in real-world settings