You’ve got more wool, clay and seaweed than you know what to do with. Here’s a solution: Make really strong bricks.
Researchers in Spain and Scotland say they’ve done just that.
In experiments conducted at the University of Seville in Spain and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, researchers added wool fibers to the claylike soil used to make bricks, then threw in alginate conglomerate, a polymer made from seaweed, according to a study published in the journal Construction and Building Materials.
The bricks with wool were 37 percent stronger than conventional bricks and were more resistant to cracks and fissure, the researchers reported. Wool bricks are also energy savers as they’re made without firing, they said.
"This is a more sustainable and healthy alternative to conventional building materials such as baked earth bricks and concrete blocks," the study’s authors, Carmen Galán and Carlos Rivera, said.
The bricks aren’t going to force anyone to give up their kilts or sweaters. Scotland’s sheep farmers produce more wool than its textile industry can use, the researchers say.