The past main sponsors of the CBU were Madison Gas & Electric Company, Madison; We Energies, Milwaukee; and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, Green Bay.
With financial support from these and other sponsors, the CBU is developing low-cost, high-quality construction materials from coal combustion by-products.
Finding beneficial uses of foundry sand was the focus of CBU research projects funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and several Wisconsin-based foundries, including the Fall River Foundry, Falk Corporation, Kohler Co., Maynard Steel Casting Co., Waupaca Foundry, and the Badger Mining Corporation. Additional funding was also provided by SWRC, SWRRP and Recycling Market Development Board.
Other research projects by the CBU involve pulp and paper mill sludge, wood ash, used tires, plastics, glass, and other post-consumer by-products. CBU also has technology available for licensing of blended cements, manufacturing of concrete bricks, blocks, and paving stones made from recycled materials, and soil remediation.
As part of its research effort and another way of supporting continuing education in by-products utilization, the CBU organizes technology transfer workshops and symposiums each year for practicing engineers and students. The subjects of these well-attended meetings include coal ash utilization , non-destructive testing and evaluation of concrete, concrete for the 21st century, used foundry sand utilization, flowable slurry, etc.
Through their contact with CBU, both in the classroom and in the
laboratory, UWM students receive valuable training in by-products
utilization technology, which they will be able to apply in their future
"Through the seminars and workshops put on by the CBU, I've been able to network myself with other engineers sharing my interests and area of expertise."
Dr John Zachar, Professor of Architectural Engineering, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Center researchers have worked on many research projects dealing with various aspects of by-products utilization since 1989. The following List of CBU Reports and Publications covers many subjects in the field of by-products, construction materials, concrete, asphalt, ect.
The Center has performed research for the utilization of used foundry sand and scrap iron slag in construction materials and other products. It has been established that used foundry sands are suitable for partial aggregate replacement in concrete and concrete products. Extensive research was completed in 1997 to further confirm long-term durability and performance for various applications. most of the research related to foundry by-products was sponsored by the Wisconsin-DNR, UWM Solid Waste Research Council and Wisconsin foundries.
The Center has also performed research on the utilization of discarded tires, port-consumer waste plastics, and glass. Used tires are accumulating at the rate of about 280 million tires per year in the United States and beneficial applications are limited at the present. Many tires are being shredded for use as fuel for industrial power plants. A better utilization of rubber from discarded tires is in highway pavements. Here again, the Center has worked in finding uses for this material in construction and other applications. More useful applications must be developed in order to increase the utilization of this material which is accumulating rapidly and is difficult and expensing to dispose. This research was sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and WISE (Wisconsin Industries Saving over Environment). This research was also endorsed by the City of Milwaukee and the United States Air Force. Research on post-consumer glass was sponsored by UWS Solid Waste Recovery Research Program and Wisconsin Department of Commerce RMDB Recycling Market Development Board)
Research is continuing since 1995 in the area of pulp and paper mill residual solids (sludge) and wood ash, as well as grits and dregs. This research is funded by RMDB, Pulp and paper mills, US-DOW, Weyerhaeuser Company, Stora Enso North America, and NCASI. A new area that CBU is researching is finding uses for dredged materials from the Milwaukee and Green Bay confined disposal facilities. The dredged materials are first treated to lower the concentration of contaminants before using in other products. An initial project was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. EPA.
Industries are encouraged to have CBU perform research wok for utilization of their by-products. One of the many services that the Center can provide is a waste stream audit. CBU can also perform physical and chemical characterization and provide a final report that provides a list of prioritized use options for the by-product. The purpose of the characterization is to recommend alternatives to the normal practice of disposing by-products materials in landfills. A partial list of cooperating and supporting companies and CBU customers since 1989 is given below.