A collaborative agreement signed last Thursday, 28 November 2019, between the University of Malta and the Malta Industrial Parks Ltd (MIP) seeks to build upon the research and developement of reconstituted limestone, eventually turning it into commercial reusable material. The University's Rector, Professor Alfred J. Vella, together with MIP CEO Mr. Karl Azzopardi and other representatives, gathered inside the University's Council Room to discuss such matters, with the latter body explaining the current commercial challenges being faced by this industry.
More about C&D waste
Reconstituted limestone is made up from construction and development (C&D) waste which, through a patented technological process, developed by researches at UM, can be transformed into masonry products such as building blocks, bricks, cladding, pavement tiles, etc.
Indeed, the agreement is of key importance to MIP in view of the regeneration of the Luqa dump on the outskirts of the Marsa industrial estate, which will yield a large amount of C&D waste. Through the collaboration with University, this waste will be transformed into reconstituted stone and used amongst others for the construction of the new facilities once the area would have been regenerated.
Specialising in geosciences himself, Rector Vella expressed his interest in such project, while also referring to similar projects he had worked on previously in his career. Professor Vella stressed that "It is a shame that we are still blighting the Maltese Islands when we can make use of the material which would otherwise remain unused," when asked about what his thoughts are about this ongoing research.
After the signing, all parties walked down the University's campus towards the Faculty for Built Environment where a more hands-on demonstration, conducted by Prof. Spiridione Buhagiar took place. Slabs and other prototypes were presented to the Rector as well as the other representatives, in order to give a more concrete example would look, weigh and feel like.
Mr. Azzopardi concluded that "this agreement fits perfectly with MIP's strategic objectives", which he emphasised them to be based on a number of sustainable initiatives both for the growth of the economy as well as the sectors which they support. He added that MIP is "proud to be supporting the University of Malta [...] bringing industry and academia closer together to address some of the challenges being faced and which could hinder further growth"
Surely, this agreement is another step towards lessening our impact on the Maltese environment, towards a greener future.
Photo credit: University of Malta