Recycling coal ash into construction bricks could be a reality in the Hunter

Recycling coal ash at power stations and coal mines and turning it into construction supplies could soon become a reality.

Energy giant AGL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with waste site remediation company Nu-Rock Building Products to investigate the feasibility of using their waste recycling technology to convert coal ash into construction bricks at the Bayswater Power Station in Muswellbrook.

Nu-Rock’s unique process converts large volumes of solid and liquid industrial waste materials into a range of environmentally sustainable building products.

The feasibility study will determine whether or not the technology would be possible at Bayswater to turn the coal ash into bricks for local construction projects.

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said the MOU with Nu-Rock would explore recycling waste in an innovative way for AGL, along with our strategy to convert our thermal power station sites into an ecosystem within a circular economy.

“This technology is a great example of using various value streams, as we produce energy at Bayswater to power the state, our coal ash waste can be recycled for the better by Nu-Rock into bricks that can be used in local construction projects,” Markus Brokhof said.

“We are proud to be an integral part of the Hunter region and contributing to the transition of the community by recycling our waste in a way that is beneficial, providing building supplies for local construction projects.”

“We have a very clear plan to rejuvenate our thermal sites into low carbon industrial energy hubs, and this technology would complement those plans.”

Nu-Rock Founder and Managing Director, Maroun George Rahme said they’re working closely with AGL to make it happen.

“We are working closely with AGL to develop a process to turn by-product they generate by manufacturing products that using less than 3% of the Embodied Energy to manufacture, are carbon negative, up to 4 hours fire rated, up to 50% lighter and less expensive than conventional materials that cannot meet our standards, to be able to build a better future leaving no legacy by-product behind and stopping the need to quarry virgin materials to make conventional products that cannot be recycled completely at the end of their life,” he said.

Earlier this year, AGL brought forward the closure windows of its coal-fired power stations, with Bayswater set to close no later than 2033.