Scott Bros has set up a mini-laboratory and appointed Teesside University science graduate Feysal Shifa to continue his research into finding a commercial application for its ‘filter cake’ residue.

Feysal, who has a MSc in Civil and Structural Engineering, is seeking a practical use for the fine-grained clay-based material that is produced by the firm’s £1m wash plant.

The ‘urban quarry’ converts construction and excavation waste into high quality sand and aggregate for use in the construction industry. However, a portion of every 20-tonnes processed is ‘filter cake’ – which can only be used as low-value BS-certificated pond lining clay or inert engineering fill.

Feysal, who was appointed by Stockton-based Scott Bros as its Recycling Innovation Engineer, is working on a method to bind the fine clay material together to create a cementitious product that could be used in the recycled brick manufacturing process or as floor screeds.

He was involved in previous research carried out by Teesside University on behalf of Scott Bros, as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which is designed to help businesses innovate through academic support.

Bob Borthwick, a director at Scott Bros, said that the research carried out as part of the KTP had produced such encouraging results that the family-run firm was determined to continue the work once the scheme concluded.

He said: “We appointed Feysel and created the role of Recycling Innovation Engineer and invested in equipping a small laboratory.

“We hope he will build upon the research begun under the KTP and find a commercial use for a material that is currently has low commercial value.

“Scott Bros continues to invest in recycling and Teesside’s circular economy, which benefits both businesses and the environment by ensuring we reuse materials and protect the planet’s finite resources.

“While we are focused on finding a commercial uses for the filter cake, we will also look to extend and expand the use of a range of other recycled materials.”

Feysal, who also has a BSc in Civil Engineering from Leeds Beckett University and is working his way towards becoming a Chartered Engineer, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to reduce waste and improve sustainability.”