Possible Utilization of Cigarette Butts in Light- Weight Fired Clay Bricks

Over a million tonnes of cigarette butts (CBs) are produced worldwide annually. These CBs accumulate in the environment due to the poor biodegradability of the cellulose acetate filters and pose a serious environmental risk. This paper presents some of the results from a continuing study on recycling CBs into fired clay bricks. Properties including compressive strength, flexural strength, density, water absorption and thermal conductivity of fired clay bricks are reported and discussed. Furthermore, leaching of heavy metals from the manufactured clay bricks was tested. The results show that the density of fired bricks was reduced by about 8 – 30 %, depending on the percentage of CBs incorporated into the raw materials. The compressive strength of bricks tested was 12.57, 5.22 and 3.00 MPa for 2.5, 5.0 and 10 % CB content respectively. Water absorption and initial rate of absorption values increased as density, and hence porosity, of bricks decreased with increasing CB volume. The leaching test results revealed trace amounts of heavy metals.

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