An important innovation that responds to the environmental crisis
With its patented fossilisation process, Néolithe turns non-recyclable waste into mineral aggregates – in other words stones – for use in the construction industry. By implementing this technology on an industrial scale, Néolithe is responding to the environmental crisis by creating a new way for global industry to process waste.
The objective? To reduce France’s carbon emissions by 5% across all industries.
Néolithe, a ‘post-history’ pioneer
Landfill and incineration are currently the only two ways of processing ordinary non-recyclable waste. But they’re massively polluting.
Faced with this fact and the need to accelerate the environmental transition, Néolithe now offers an effective alternative: fossilisation. Fossilisation involves looking at mineral associations in a new way and converting non-recyclable waste into aggregates that can be used in the construction industry.
With this innovation, Néolithe’s aim is to provide an environmentally sustainable response to waste treatment, and at the same time produce aggregates, the most widely-used raw material in France at 400 million tonnes per year, in a sustainable way.
“Néolithe’s entrepreneurial spirit grew out of a determination to come up with solutions that respond to the current environmental challenges. By creating a new way of treating waste through fossilisation, we have by extension created a ‘post-history’ of waste. Where it has always been buried or incinerated in the past, we can now reuse 100% of it as mineral aggregates. That’s where ‘post-history’ takes on its full meaning – it refers to the advent of stone, the period when it was created from the transformation of fossilised waste. A process unknown anywhere else in the world, the result of fundamental research, cleantechs and the reindustrialisation of our territories,” says Nicolas Cruaud, co-founder of Néolithe.
Néolithe launches a new stone age
The innovation is the result of an association between two young engineering prodigies and a stone mason – a specialist in innovative concrete – who had the idea one day of transforming waste materials into stone, like when dinosaur bones were fossilised and turned into the ‘tuffeau’ limestone found in the Loire valley. A new revolution was begun – the new stone age.
“As a stonemason for nearly 45 years, I’m truly passionate about the material, which has been used for so many different purposes since its earliest years. With Néolithe, we have managed to combine cutting-edge industrial technology with age-old know-how to develop an ethical innovation,” says William Cruaud Snr, co-founder of Néolithe.
What does that mean in concrete terms? Néolithe takes non-recyclable waste and transforms it into aggregate, using a non-polluting process, which can be used in road sub-bases and concrete. The aggregate is called Anthropocite, a reference to the Antropocene period. The method enables recovery of the entirety of the waste material and is almost 5 times less polluting than landfill or incineration.
Néolithe: technical impact on the landscape
In addition to Néolithe’s major innovation, the project also heralds a new industrial philosophy.
Fossilisation can potentially be used for waste reclamation on a local scale. Fossilisers – modular waste treatment plants – operate with small quantities of waste material, eliminating the need for transportation over long distances. They can also be installed in a single day, on any terrain, to a limit of one installation per property and subject to the availability of water and electricity connections.
“Néolithe offers a new approach to waste treatment based on a circular economy approach. With fossilisation, 100% of the input waste material is reclaimed to produce a material that never deteriorates – aggregates. It’s also a local concern, because every stakeholder – from the industrialist to the local authority – is acting responsibly by using fossilisers to treat waste materials following Néolithe’s instructions,” says Nicolas Cruaud, co-founder of Néolithe.
Clothilde Huvelin – 06 77 69 64 19