Scottish green tech firm secures six-figure grant to test ground-breaking process

A Scottish environmental technology firm has secured a six-figure grant to accelerate commercialisation of a process which could dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry.

Company founders Ian Skene, Yvonne Walker and Raymond Cowan aim to cut the carbon footprint of the construction industry.
Company founders Ian Skene, Yvonne Walker and Raymond Cowan aim to cut the carbon footprint of the construction industry.

Recycl8, based in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, has developed technology to transform ash left after burning waste in incinerators into a low-carbon product which can replace cement in concrete.

The company has now been awarded a £167,000 grant by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to accelerate the R&D phase of its ground-breaking process.

The funding will mean that the timescale for the testing phase, which is being carried out in the UK, will be cut by two thirds down to nine months.

The testing is required by the Environment Agency in England and Wales and SEPA in Scotland for them to reclassify the processed material as a product rather than as waste and allow Recycl8 to take the final product to market.

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Recycl8’s unique process enables “incinerator bottom ash” to make up to 60 per cent by volume of the concrete. By replacing high C02 emitting cement and other virgin quarried materials, the technology will help concrete manufacturers to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their climate targets.

Founder and managing director of Recycl8, Ian Skene, said: “By expediting the testing process and bringing our process to market ahead of schedule, we can create positive impact quicker as part of our commitment to the Circular Economy and net zero goals.”

Skene said that if all UK concrete was made with Recycl8 technology it would save around 2.1 million tonnes of CO2.

“It’s a hugely significant opportunity for both the construction industry and waste to energy industry as they tackle the carbon emissions challenges they face to meet international net zero targets,” he added.

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Earlier this summer, the business secured a seven-figure investment from a group of private investors led by energy industry figures Mike Wilson, founder of Ecosse Subsea Systems, and Doug Duguid, founder of global engineering firm EnerMech, to accelerate the technology’s journey to market.

The business was launched in 2019 by Skene and fellow directors Yvonne Walker and Raymond Cowan.

Other Scottish firms involved in finding low-carbon solutions for the construction industry include Kenoteq, a spin-out from Heriot-Watt University which has developed an eco-friendly brick.

Its K-Briq product is made from over 90 per cent of recycled construction and demolition materials and its manufacture produces just 10 per cent of the CO2 emissions of a traditional fired brick.

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The company has recently been awarded £1 million in funding by Zero Waste Scotland to help get production off the ground.

Kenoteq plan to deliver the equivalent of enough bricks for 924 low-carbon homes across the UK over the next five years creating 15 new jobs in manufacturing, production, quality assurance, marketing and sales.

The funding was through The Circular Economy Investment Fund, which is backed by support from the European Regional Development Fund and the Scottish Government, and offers investment for small and medium-sized firms based in Scotland that are carrying out innovative research work to deliver circular economy growth.

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