Cigarette Butts Are Being Used To Cool City Streets

August 16, 2017

© Alexey Vecherniy | Dreamstime

While cigarette smoking continues to dwindle, tobacco companies produce about 6 trillion cigarettes every year.  That means about 1.3 million tons of cigarette butts litter the ground, taking up to 10 years to decompose and leaking numerous chemicals into the ground. One engineer thinks he may have found a way to turn cigarette butts into a benefit for the environment.  At first they added cigarette butts to building bricks and while it make up just 1% of the materials of a brick, it reduced the amount of energy used to fire a brick in production by 58%!  But the energy savings went even further.  The butt-infused bricks were also better insulating than standard bricks making long-term energy usage lower to heat and cool buildings.  It also keeps the toxic chemicals entombed inside the bricks. The same results were reached when sealing the butts in bitumen and paraffin wax and combining them with hot asphalt. The mixing in of the butts decreased the pavement's ability to conduct heat, which could help keep already overheated cities cooler.

SOURCE: Mental Floss

See and hear more from the 98.5 KTK Morning Show

98.5 KTK Morning Show Podcast