UWE create ‘smart’ bricks which generate power and recycle water through innovative technologies

By Catherine Sturman
The University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol are developing ‘smart bricks which can generate electricity from sunlight and recycle waste...

The University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol are developing ‘smart’ bricks which can generate electricity from sunlight and recycle wastewater through new innovative technologies.

On their website, the UWE have stated the ‘Living Architecture’ (LIAR) project will be undertaken in collaboration with Newcastle University and experts within Tento, Florence, the Spanish National Research Council; LIQUIFER Systems Group and EXPLORA.

Microbial Fuel Cells and algae will be implanted in the bricks to allow the bricks to adapt to changing weather, environmental conditions and adapt according to the number of occupants in a building, providing increased benefits.

Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the Bristol Bioenergy Centre (BBiC), at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at UWE Bristol said, “Microbial Fuel Cells are energy transducers that exploit the metabolic activity of the constituent microbes to break down organic waste and generate electricity. This is a novel application for MFC modules to be made into actuating building blocks as part of wall structures. This will allow us to explore the possibility of treating household waste, generating useful levels of electricity, and have 'active programmable' walls within our living environments.”

Professor Andrew Adamatzky, the European ‘Living Architecture’ Project Director for UWE Bristol continued, “The technologies we are developing aim to transform the places where we live and work enabling us co-live with the building."

"Each smart brick is an electrical analogous computer. A building made of such bricks will be a massive-parallel computing processor."

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