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Transforming waste disposals into building materials to investigate energy savings and carbon emission mitigation potential

Abstract

This work aims to enhance the energy cost-saving potential of conventional mud-brick by including natural waste materials as insulators. The solid waste materials considered for mud bricks are rice husk, sawdust, coir pith, and fly ash. This work investigates the structural and thermoeconomic performance of four types of insulated mud bricks and three roofs of ferrocement, clay, and ceramic materials. The thermal properties of walls and roofs were measured as per ASTM D 5334 standards. The utilization of solid waste in mud bricks enhanced the structural properties and air-conditioning cost-saving potential of the mud bricks. The results also showed the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions with the usage of insulated bricks for buildings. The rice husk mud-brick wall showed better results of higher time lag, lower decrement factor, higher air-conditioning cost-savings, acceptable payback periods, and higher annual carbon mitigation values of 11.11 h, 0.24, 1.74 $/m2, 1.17 years, and 33.35 kg/kWh, respectively, among all the studied multilayer walls. Among the roofs, clay tile roof showed a lower decrement factor (0.989), higher time lag (0.73 h), higher air-conditioning cost-savings (2.58 $/m2), lower payback periods (0.61 years), and higher annual carbon mitigation (21.73 kg/kWh). The results are in designing eco-friendly and energy-efficient envelopes for buildings.

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Data availability

Not applicable

Abbreviations

Cp :

specific heat (J/kg K)

Cs :

total air-conditioning cost saving ($/m2)

k :

thermal conductivity (W/mK)

U :

transmittance (W/m2K)

Z :

admittance (W/m2K)

CoV:

coefficient of variance

CPMBW:

coir pith mud-brick wall

FAMBW:

fly ash mud-brick wall

HCM:

heating carbon mitigation (kg/kWh)

HCS:

heating cost-saving ($/m2)

HDD:

heating degree-days (°C-days)

MBWWI:

mud-brick wall without insulator

MCPMBW:

multilayer coir pith mud-brick wall

MFAMBW:

multilayer fly ash brick wall

MRHMBW:

multilayer rice husk mud-brick wall

MSWMBW:

multilayer sawdust mud-brick wall

PB:

payback period (years)

CCM:

cooling carbon mitigation

CCS:

cooling cost-saving ($/m2)

CDD:

cooling degree-days (°C-days)

CETR:

ceramic tile roof

CLTR:

clay tile roof

CM:

carbon mitigation (kg/kWh)

RHMBW:

rice husk mud-brick wall

SD:

standard deviation

SWMBW:

sawdust mud-brick wall

TCM:

total carbon mitigation (kg/kWh)

α :

thermal diffusivity (m2/s)

μ :

decrement factor (-)

ρ :

density (kg/m3)

Φ :

time lag (h)

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Contributions

Formal analysis and Investigation: Chelliah Arumugam. Writing—original draft preparation: Chelliah Arumugam. Conceptualization: Saboor Shaik. Methodology: Saboor Shaik. Resources: Saboor Shaik. Supervision: Saboor Shaik. Writing—review and editing: Saboor Shaik.

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Correspondence to Saboor Shaik.

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Arumugam, C., Shaik, S. Transforming waste disposals into building materials to investigate energy savings and carbon emission mitigation potential. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 15259–15273 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11693-0

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Keywords

  • Energy-saving building materials
  • Mud bricks with waste residues
  • Thermoeconomic analysis
  • Carbon emission mitigation
  • Time lag