The smart sand

Welcome to Lypors™

For the sake of
the environment.

The clock is ticking.

Will there be enough sand in the future? Questionable!

Formed by erosive processes over thousands of years sand and gravel are now being extracted at a rate far greater than their natural renewal.


Sand and gravel are mined world-wide and account for the largest volume of solid material extracted globally. They are most consumable commodity after water. Incidentally, sand from the desert is unsuitable for the building and construction industry!

The sand mining or dredging is having a major impact on rivers, deltas and coastal and marine ecosystems, results in loss of land through river or coastal erosion, lowering of the water table and decreases in the amount of sediment supply. The problem is also getting worse as populations and consumption keep growing faster than technological solutions.

It is evident that the planet can and will produce only a finite amount of natural resources for all of its inhabitants per year.

Circular economy could be an approach to manage our natural resources in sustainable manner. It does not require changes in the quality of life of consumers and at the same time keep enjoying and benefiting similar products.

Lypors™, an alternative to natural sand, aims to stop the depletion of natural sand. It is also a perfect example of circular economy as Lypors™ is manufactured from coal combustion products, a waste by-product from thermal power stations.

ZaaK is convinced that by converting unused and deposited coal combustion products into Lypors™ we can contribute to achieve a sustainable world. Whether it’s manufacturing, buildings, transportation, living or recyclability Lypors™ has positive socio-economic and environmental impacts in the product value chain.

Lypors™ Technology…

A simple, novel and highly scalable production process.

Helps, saving endangered rivers, beaches and coastal areas from excessive sand mining.

The Technology

The technology can treat various grades of coal combustion products whether they’re produced from Indian, Chinese, South African, Australian, American or Indonesian coals.

It can also process lignite fly ash which has negligible usage up to date. In principle, no source of fly ash is unsuitable.

Lypors™ technology involves a combination of mechanical, chemical and sintering process. It is a simple, novel and highly scalable production process.

The technology can be easily integrated to the existing power plant’s infrastructure, meaning no need of shutting down the power plant during installation period.

The additional features of the technology are:

  • able to handle high carbon content ash
  • tailored particle size distribution
  • high conversion efficiency

The technology offers a single step solution to a twin problem:

  • Upcycling of coal combustion products into value-added sand material
  • Saving endangered rivers, beaches and coastal areas from excessive sand mining

The product: Lypors

An advanced engineered sand material

Lightweight – Thermal insulation – Superior quality – Geometric characteristics

The Product.

Lypors™ is an advanced engineered sand material, manufactured from coal combustion products. It is an inert ceramic material containing micro-pores. Lypors™ has negligible chloride and sulphate contents, which together with its inherently low density classified as a lightweight aggregate according to harmonized DIN EN 13055:2016.

The properties of Lypors™ such as size, shape, porosity and density can be tailored to meet different applications or usage.


The bulk density of Lypors™ is between 800-900 kg/m3 meaning it is up to 50% lighter than normal sand.

Fresh mortars from Lypors™ can be up to 28% lighter than normal weight mortars resulting in speed of construction and lower energy consumption for pumping.

Once dried, it is up to 32% lighter than normal weight concrete. Similarly, concrete made from Lypors™ can be up to 30% lighter than normal weight concrete, allowing: reduced size of load bearing elements including columns and footings as well as deadload reductions.

Thermal insulation.

According to tests conducted at TU Berlin, mortars and concrete from Lypors™ can be up to 340% and 200% more insulating than normal weight mortar and normal weight concrete, respectively.

According to ARUP Engineering, a single family house with a floor size of 138 sq.m. made of Lypors® will save 2,290 kg of greenhouse gases (GHG) annually from heating the building.

Superior quality.

Lypors™ has superior and consistent quality with zero organic impurities as opposed to natural sand. The latter often contains impurities such as coal, bones, shells, mica and silt which make it inferior for use in mortar and concrete. The decay of these materials, due to weathering effect, shortens the life of the mortar and concrete.

Geometric characteristics.

The geometric characteristics, i.e., angularity (roundness) and sphericity, plays important role  in compaction and rheology of mortars and concrete. The typical angularity and sphericity of Lypors™ particles are in between 0.45-0.65 making it ideal geometric characteristics for the construction industry.


Lypors™ is one of the best example of sustainability.

…whether it is production, transportation, construction, building, living or reuse.

Lypors™ is one of the best example of sustainability whether it is production, transportation, construction, building, living or reuse. It is an eco-friendly material with positive social and environmental impacts. Lypors™ is a premium quality but a cost-effective construction sand material with diverse applications.

The Lypors™ technology offers a very meaningful step to achieve the twin objectives:

  • A) converting waste coal combustion products into a value-added construction sand and
  • B) also minimizing the consumption of sand, an ecologically sensitive natural resource, and savings of endangered rivers and coastal areas.

This has been recognized independently through innovation awards.

Lypors™ Life Cycle.

Lypors™ Life Cycle.

Lypors™ is made from upcycling industrial waste by-products such as fly ash, pond ash or stabilized ash and can be used in many applications and can be recycled several times.


Lypors™ are produced mainly from wastes. It can be used in producing lightweight, high strength and thermal insulating building material derivatives. It can be produced in different size, shape, strength and porosity meeting different market segments.

> 93%
of the raw material constituents is waste materials from the industry.


Lypors™ based lightweight concrete and mortars achieves high speed of construction minimising labour costs and raw materials wastages.

more plaster coverage for the given time and volume of mortars compared to natural sand based mortars.


Transportation cost is directly related to weight. Being ~50% lighter than sand and crushed stones, transportation is easier and leaves a smaller carbon foot print than alternate fine aggregates. Increased loading capacity for trucks means fewer trucks on the road and in the cities and country sides.

Up to 7%
fuel savings in transporting for the same volume of material compared to natural sand.


When used in the house construction, Lypors™ offer high levels of thermal and acoustic comfort and contributes to improved energy performance. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint, reduces energy bills and provides comfort to the home.

> 350%
better thermal insulation factor.


Lypors™ have circular life cycle instead of traditional linear. It creates highly efficient value chains from upcycling industrial wastes through to extract the maximum value from whilst in use, then recover and regenerate materials at the end of each service life


About our project

Additional information

Objective – Expected impacts – Partners


The expected impacts of the project are as follows:

• Creating the engineering and scientific basis for the future industrial Lypors production plant.

• Integration of three sub-processes, which so far performed at different locations, into a single black box which will have significant technological improvement and impacts on various stakeholders.

• Addressing the challenge faced by thermal power plants from fly ash disposal around the world and assisting them in meeting disposal compliances as well as improving the economics of the plant operation.

• Addressing the challenge faced by many countries to access good quality of sand by providing Lypors as an alternative to natural sand.

• Increasing the utilization of fly ash, not just in Europe, but all over the world, by upcycling fly ash into value-added sand.

• Helping decision makers in Europe to frame strategic choices concerning conservation of natural resources and to integrate them in the future management of natural resources through research road mapping activity combined with economic feasibility modelling that will help the identification of critical pathways.

• Improving innovation capacity and the integration of new knowledge.

Expected impacts

To key objective is to design, build and demonstrate the production of Smart Sand / Lypors at integrated pilot scale:

The strategic objective of the project is to design, build and demonstrate the production of Smart Sand / Lypors at integrated pilot scale which becomes a technology showcase to stake holders such as thermal power plants, construction industry and end customers.

The other objective of the project is to certify the product produce from the plant to meet harmonized DIN EN 12620 (fine aggregates for concrete), DIN 13139 (sand for mortars) and DIN EN 13055:2016 (lightweight aggregates).

Additionally, the process and product will be optimized according to the market demand.


These partners are crucial for our project:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 738759

The British-Australian mining group, founded in 1873 – is one of the key partner of ZaaK Technologies supporting the project.

Contact us.

ZaaK Technologies GmbH
Am Wall 8a
14979 Großbeeren