Production of bricks from waste materials - A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

569 Scopus citations


Bricks are a widely used construction and building material around the world. Conventional bricks are produced from clay with high temperature kiln firing or from ordinary Portland cement (OPC) concrete, and thus contain high embodied energy and have large carbon footprint. In many areas of the world, there is already a shortage of natural source material for production of the conventional bricks. For environmental protection and sustainable development, extensive research has been conducted on production of bricks from waste materials. This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of research on utilization of waste materials to produce bricks. A wide variety of waste materials have been studied to produce bricks with different methods. The research can be divided into three general categories based on the methods for producing bricks from waste materials: firing, cementing and geopolymerization. Although much research has been conducted, the commercial production of bricks from waste materials is still very limited. The possible reasons are related to the methods for producing bricks from waste materials, the potential contamination from the waste materials used, the absence of relevant standards, and the slow acceptance of waste materials-based bricks by industry and public. For wide production and application of bricks from waste materials, further research and development is needed, not only on the technical, economic and environmental aspects but also on standardization, government policy and public education related to waste recycling and sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - 2013


  • Bricks
  • Cementing
  • Firing
  • Geopolymerization
  • Sustainable development
  • Waste materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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