Specifier Review
Carbon Buster

Carbon Negative Masonry Block

Leading masonry products manufacturer, Lignacite, has launched the world’s first carbon negative building block. Named ‘The Carbon Buster’, the new building block from Lignacite is a British innovation, which has been developed by the company in partnership with Carbon8 Aggregates, using their award winning Accelerated Carbonation Technology.

Carbon Buster

The Carbon Buster incorporates more than 50% recycled aggregates and combines this with Carbon8’s carbonated aggregates derived from by-products from waste to energy plants. The result is a high performing masonry product, and the first ever building block, which has captured more carbon dioxide than is emitted during its manufacture; 14kg CO2 per tonne to be exact.

Carbon8’s Technical Director, Dr Paula Carey, explains: “On the back of research carried out at The University of Greenwich’s School of Science, Carbon8 identified an end use for thermal residues from waste to energy plants. By mixing the residue with water and carbon dioxide, we were able to transform the material into what the Environment Agency has agreed is a product suitable as a virgin aggregate replacement.”

Following the EA review, Carbon8 erected a £1 million carbonation plant in Brandon, Suffolk, adjacent to Lignacite’s masonry plant. Here, the residue is carbonated, mixed with binders and fillers before being pelletised and used as a key ingredient in the Carbon Buster block.

Carbon Buster

Lignacite uses sand and gravel from its quarry adjacent to the block plant. This, combined with the use of recycled waste material, such as wood shavings, glass and shells meant the company’s masonry products always had a minimal carbon footprint. Despite these efforts, however, the cement content previously used made it impossible to generate products that were carbon negative. Thanks to carbonated aggregates, however, the Carbon Buster now boasts a negative CO2 content.

For Lignacite, which is a family owned company that dates back nearly 70 years, the use of carbonation technology is simply an extension to their long standing commitment to sustainability: “We were the first block manufacturer in the country to introduce recycled and waste materials into our products, and one of our ranges already contained 90% waste materials,” explains Lignacite’s Chief Executive, Giles de Lotbiniere. “However, we firmly believe that constant innovation is key to creating a more sustainable future for everyone. We are now working with a number of forward thinking architects and specifiers and are incredibly excited to be taking this strategy to the next level with the launch of the Carbon Buster.

Carbon Buster

“With the Government’s commitment to zero carbon homes, we are confident the Carbon Buster has an important role to play in helping to meet the 2016 targets.”


Lignacite is a leading UK manufacturer of masonry products designed for internal or external use. Founded in 1947, it remains a family owned company managed by Giles de Lotbiniere. The Lignacite masonry range incorporates a range of recycled and waste materials, including glass, wood particles and shells. The company also provides products to encourage biodiversity in construction. The company uses aggregates from its own local quarry in Brandon, and has supplied many high profile buildings in the UK, including the Shard, the Gherkin and the Olympic Village.

For more information, visit www.lignacite.co.uk


Carbon8 provides Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT) for the treatment of industrial waste and contaminated soils. By using carbon dioxide to produce materials for re-use, or for cheaper disposal, we deliver a unique combination of benefits, including significantly shorter treatment times. The technology can utilise waste CO2 emissions from local sources, capturing significant volumes of CO2. When carbonation is used in the recovery and recycling of waste, an end product with real value is created.

For more information, please visit www.c8s.co.uk