Launch of the Nutrients in a Circular Economy research hub

January 30, 2023
  • Engineering and Infrastructure
  • Sustainability
CIMIC Group’s EIC Activities is collaborating with the University of Technology Sydney's Nutrients in a Circular Economy (NiCE) Hub, in conjunction with the Australian Research Council and other industry partners.

The NiCE Hub is primarily focusing on decentralised domestic wastewater (greywater) treatment at the source and its re-use to produce fertilisers for agriculture and horticulture.  

As part of the Hub, EIC Activities and the UTS research team are investigating the use of wastewater to stabilise reactive clays as a substitute for cement and lime, pursuing a potential low carbon alternative for reactive clay stabilisation.

Using treated wastewater, the team will develop a process for ground strengthening by precipitating calcium carbonate within the pores of the soil.

The research will be led by Behzad Fatahi and Hadi Khabbaz from UTS and EIC Activities Technical Director Jeff Hsi.

The NiCE research hub was officially launched at the end of 2022 at an event held at the UTS Ultimo campus.

EIC Activities Managing Director, Geoff Sewell said: “Cement production is responsible for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. NiCE hub research seeks to reduce the need for cement in ground improvement and stabilisation projects, with an innovative solution creating biocementation in the soil using treated wastewater.

“We are proud to be working with UTS Sydney on this important research which addresses the demand for more sustainable practices in the construction industry.”

EIC Activities Technical Director, Jeff Hsi said: “Not only will the NiCE Hub research project help reduce the carbon footprint in construction, but it will also provide a sustainable alternative solution for ground stabilisation in developing and underdeveloped countries where cement and lime are not readily available.”

The NiCE Hub research project addresses six Sustainable Development Goals including Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Reducing Inequality (SDG 10), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).

You can find more information about the NiCE Hub research project here.
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