Waste glass will be the construction material of the future
Waste glass and concrete mulch will be recycled in house construction, if the ideas of Sunna Ólafsdóttir Wallevik, the founder and CEO of Gerosion, are to be realized. This was one of the many studies she presented at meeting of Samál in Harpa last Thursday.
Wallevik, who also holds a master's degree in in inorganic chemistry, is behind the start-up Rockpore, which is developing a technology to make use of glass and concrete waste as a filler in construction. Waste is thus replaced with gravel, becomes useful and saves landfill space.
This is not the only project that has inspired Wallevik and she is involved in more innovative companies. The major one is Gerosion, which has carried out a research project with Elkem in Grundartangi. The aim of the project is to use industrial waste to create pellets that are useful as a resource for the production of silicon. Going forward, huge quantities of waste materials are avoided from landfill and the carbon footprint of aluminium production is thus greatly diminished.
The production is still in a fairly early stage, but Wallevik expects it to be able to make a leap in the coming years and become a concept that can be exported around the world.
Gerosion is a at the core an innovation and research company, providing material and corrosion consulting for the geothermal industry and energy-intensive industries. In addition, Gerosion is also working on research projects that address the recirculation efficiency of all kinds of waste.
Wallevik says she is very optimistic about a good partnership with this industry, and that it will adopt environmentally friendly solutions, once they are proven to be feasible.
Been doing research from the age of 17
Wallevik says she has been doing research from a young age, since she was born into a family in the business of concrete, and she begun researching concrete at the age of 17. After that, she entered chemical engineering and earned a master's degree in inorganic chemistry. She worked for a while at the Innovation Center, and a series of incidents followed that led her, along with others, to form the new company Gerosion in 2014.
If Wallevik’s ideas materialize according to plan she will have solved the fate of glass and concrete waste in Iceland and brought it into the recycling circulation economy.