Bengaluru: Silt from lakes to make environment-friendly bricks

Bengaluru: A group of young scientists and engineers in the city have come up with an innovative product -concrete bricks made from lake sludge which are totally environment-friendly unlike cement-based ones. 

The cost of each brick can be reduced to almost half of their conventional counterparts and they are one and a half times stronger as well, claims Mohsin Ali Khan, a civil engineer who just graduated from CMRIT and has been instrumental in the innovation along with four of his friends. The team adds that the sludge can also be used as a good fertliliser.  

Research under the guidance of Prof. Phani Kumar Pullela helped the team file three patents – for sewage sludge bricks, ornamental bricks and cementless structural-element pave bricks. Using geopolymer technology, the team has been working and experimenting since 2016 as part of their final project at college.  They have also registered a startup named CO3 Structural Systems which has been recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India.

Speaking to DC, Prof Pullela, head of innovation and entrepreneurship cell at CMRIT said that the team was inspired by design thinking workshops held at the institute which enabled them to come up with innovative solutions. "The team identified the problem at Bellandur and collected silt from the lake which was treated and used for their experiments. As research progressed, their hard work and dedication helped them find patentable ideas. They have developed something dangerous for nature into something that is environment-friendly and that needs to be appreciated," he remarked. 

The company is now working on another project related to utilising mine dust for innovative solutions and is hopeful of setting up a brick factory soon near to the city. The team of friends have also decided to pursue higher education in  due course, in turns. For instance, when Gowtham Reddy B, one among them, returns on completion of his course at Coventry University, Mohsin has already made plans to fly to a varsity to further his education. The other members of the team include Sharath Kumara Devraju, Vinay Kumar Mansali and Mulla Parvez Ahamed and mentors Prof. Karthik N M (Civil Engineering Department) and Prof. Srinivas Reddy (Mechanical Engineering Department). "The company has signed an MoU with CMRIT and CMR University to help us further our research using the laboratory facilities and mentoring from the subject experts," sums up Mohsin.


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