INTELLIGENT SOURCES OF ENERGY
In addition to clay, the small, strong Leca clay pellet consists of a range of different replacement products, which helps to preserve the natural raw material. The commodity substitutes consist of surplus waste products from other industries, each complementing the basic material.
Leca UK imports lightweight expanded clay aggregate from a number of our most appropriately located manufacturing plants including Denmark, Portugal and Norway. Whilst each plant is guided by the ‘Leca Central Team’, they are targeted to source the most efficient and environmentally responsible methods and materials to aid manufacture and continually look to improve our green credentials.
NOTE: MANUFACTURING EXAMPLE IS FROM OUR DANISH PRODUCTION.
1. MINERAL WOOL
One of the latest initiatives at the Hinge factory is the addition of mineral wool, such as glass wool and stone wool, from recycling stations. The great advantage of using mineral wool is that it is a relatively dry material, in contrast to the clay containing 35% water. By adding mineral wool to the Leca mixture, you avoid using energy on evaporating part of the water; also, you preserve the natural raw material and put an otherwise useless product into good use.
Mineral wool is ceramic/glass based. Since ceramics and glass comes from clay or sand, which has the same mineral structure as clay, mineral wool is a natural extension.
2. ALUMINIUM SLUDGE
Another action of commodity replacement at the Hinge factory in Denmark is the so-called 'aluminium sludge' coming from a Grundfos and Bang & Olufsen. When Grundfos polishes their aluminum, they subsequently squeeze the water out of the alumina polishing waste and deliver the remainings to the Hinge factory. The aluminium sludge is, just like mineral wool, a good extension of the natural ingredients in the clay, which contains 20% aluminum from the clay pit.
3. SEWAGE SLUDGE
Sewage sludge brings organic carbon to the clay, and therefore also causes the lightweight aggregates to expand - ie pop like popcorn. Sewage sludge comes from various treatment plants in Denmark, without the need to transport this in from afar and consequently, CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.
Originally, the Hinge factory would incorporate bleaching soil into the production. Bleaching soil is a bio product which was used for making the Leca Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate expand when 'baked' (burned) in the Kiln. Due to the transportation co2 emissions generated from the transport of the 'Bleaching soil' from Holland - the factory in Hinge replaced this with a local supply of 'Sewage Sludge'. Thus reducing carbon emissions in the process.
All replacement products are mixed with the clay, dried and burned in the Kilns, and finally filled in bags and lorries and shipped to the customers.