Fibrenamics Develops Cement-Based Mortars Using Green Waste Obtained from Invasive Species
The Autonomous Region of the Azores is currently facing a major challenge due to the presence of an invasive species known as kahili ginger. This species, originally from South America, is a threat to biodiversity and the ecological balance of the region.
Facing this problem, the partnership between a team of experts from the Fibrenamics Institute and the consortium formed by the entities LREC (Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory) and CIMPA (Center for Innovation in Materials and Advanced Products), resulted in a sustainable project that sought to create EcoComposites reinforced with fibrous materials of natural origin and thermal intelligence properties, for masonry structures in the tourism sector.
"The use of ecocomposites with thermal intelligence, such as those developed in the project, will contribute to the increase of thermal comfort in buildings, minimizing energy expenditure with heating and cooling." - Added Raquel Galante, Project Manager at Fibrenamics Azores.
These innovative and sustainable EcoComposites were obtained using green waste from invasive species of the Azores Autonomous Region, in order to increase the resistance of masonry structures to cracking, especially in the tourism sector. In addition, the project contributed to the efficient management of fossil resources, through the incorporation of phase change materials that allow for the retention and accumulation of energy, thus contributing not only to the reduction, by 2º Celsius, of the average internal temperature range, as well as meeting the goals of the Kyoto Protocol.
Figure 1 - Different phases of the Smart Ecocomposites project.
"With the addition of kahili ginger’s natural fibers in mortar coating, not only do we fight an invasive species but we also value this resource and, inherently, the materials and buildings in the region. - Said Francisco Fernandes, Director of the Regional Civil Engineering Laboratory.
With this innovation, Fibrenamics contributes to a scientific breakthrough of high importance to the construction sector, the regional economy, and the environment. These EcoComposites will allow the Autonomous Region of the Azores to achieve independence from exogenous resources and the reduction of their transportation costs, in the near future, thus contributing to the economic and sustainable development of the region.
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