Concrete has a high carbon footprint due to the production process of its hydraulic binder – cement. Various solutions are available to reduce the amount of cement and make the concrete more environmentally friendly. However, concrete can contain up to 80% of sand and that causes another not as widely known problem. Due to a steady upward trend in global sand demand, mining activities and in particular dredging operations extract far more sand than can naturally be replenished. On the one hand, this causes river bank instability and damage to houses and infrastructure and injuries to inhabitants. On the other hand, fish populations dwindle due to a loss of breeding grounds and fishermen lose their livelihood. Further downstream the missing deposits of sediments mean an intrusion of salt water into the river delta and destruction of fertile farmland. Not to mention erosion of beaches which have to be repaired at enormous costs.
As a social impact business, it is our mission to not only reduce harm to vulnerable populations and our planet but to actively improve the way we do things. And that starts with sourcing our raw materials.
Replacing cement with more sustainable options is a great start and alternatives for sand need to be taken into consideration as well. Until recently, low quality sand did not have many applications. Our technology makes it possible to have a concrete product that contains low quality sand, reclaimed waste material, with even greater performance.
SUSTAINABLE SAND SUPPLY
Fibrilex makes a sustainable sand supply chain possible. Fibrilex has a proprietary sand upgrading technology to help dune and frac sand producers upgrade their sand for use in locally produced, and strong concrete, with improved benefits. Fibrilex’s technology allows a greater diversity of sand to be used for construction purposes, thereby reducing the need to ship sand from far away locations, and relieving pressure on strained sources.
Why the world is running out of Sand by the BBC, November 2019
Time is running out for sand by Nature, July 2019
A global sand shortage could cause damaging effects to our rapidly urbanizing world, January 2019
Is the world running out of sand? by the Guardian, July 2018
Why there is a shortage of sand by the Economist, April 2017
The world is running out of Sand, by Smithsonian Magazine, September 2017
World faces global sand shortage, by NPR, July 2017