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Density, Strength, Thermal Conductivity and Leachate Characteristics of Light-Weight Fired Clay Bricks Incorporating Cigarette Butts

Authors: Aeslina Abdul Kadir, Abbas Mohajerani, Felicity Roddick, John Buckeridge


Several trillion cigarettes produced worldwide annually lead to many thousands of kilograms of toxic waste. Cigarette butts (CBs) accumulate in the environment due to the poor biodegradability of the cellulose acetate filters. This paper presents some of the results from a continuing study on recycling CBs into fired clay bricks. Physico-mechanical properties of fired clay bricks manufactured with different percentages of CBs are reported and discussed. The results show that the density of fired bricks was reduced by up to 30 %, depending on the percentage of CBs incorporated into the raw materials. Similarly, the compressive strength of bricks tested decreased according to the percentage of CBs included in the mix. The thermal conductivity performance of bricks was improved by 51 and 58 % for 5 and 10 % CBs content respectively. Leaching tests were carried out to investigate the levels of possible leachates of heavy metals from the manufactured clay-CB bricks. The results revealed trace amounts of heavy metals.

Keywords: Cigarette butts, Fired clay bricks, Light bricks, Recycling waste, Thermal conductivity, Leachates, Leaching test

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