First test in Malawi with innovative ceramic bricks to combat deforestation

25 Feb 2020

The market demand for construction materials is tremendous in developing countries due to a growing population. TNO works together with Terrastone in Malawi to introduce strong, environmental friendly bricks, which do not require firing. In February TNO developed a brick recipe at Terrastone with Malawian materials. Coming year we will test the recipe and transfer the technology to Terrsatone in Malawi for introduction.

Do you want to know more about our cool brick technology?

Get in touch with Mathilde Miedema


Battling deforestation

Malawi suffers from severe deforestation due to the red clay brick they produce locally in wood fired kilns. TNO developed a Cold Ceramic Brick or ‘Cool Bricks’ to replace the local ceramic bricks. Neither heating nor firing is required in manufacturing these bricks because we combine waste resources with innovative materials and processes. This innovation is developed in the Netherlands and in this project we transfer it to Malawi in order to reach social and economic impact. Our partner Terrastone Ltd will manufacture these bricks locally and will launch them into the market. After thorough preparations we conducted our first pilot production in Malawi.

Promising local results

In February 2020, TNO developed the brick recipe at Terrastone in the capital Lilongwe with Malawian materials. We established a small laboratory at the quarry plant of Terrastone and mixed 7 recipees out of many different waste sources, fillers and activators. Aim was to find an optimal mix without using cement and to mould and compress the bricks, reaching a strength of 12-15 MPa. The tests went well and we are now preparing durability tests required for testing its performance in the Malawian climate. On the other hand we are fine-tuning the business model for making it a profitable venture.

This TNO project supports the following Sustainable Development Goals

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Drs. Mathilde Miedema

  • Developing countries
  • Development Cooperation
  • Africa
  • Bangladesh
  • Inclusive Business

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