Building material from food waste stronger than concrete

Researchers from The University of Tokyo developed a method to turn food scraps into a building material that is as much as three times stronger than concrete.

They used vacuum-dried, pulverized food scraps such as seaweed, cabbage leaves, orange, onion, pumpkin, and banana peels, mixed them with water and seasonings, and pressed them into a mold at high temperatures, using the “heat pressing” technique that is traditionally used to manufacture construction materials from wood powder.

With the exception of the pumpkin, all of the materials exceeded the bending strength target.  Chinese cabbage leaves performed the best, producing a material that is three times stronger than concrete.

Interestingly, the new materials retained their edible nature, and the addition of salt or sugar improved their taste without reducing their strength.

Furthermore, the products resisted rot, fungi, and insects, and experienced no changes in appearance or taste after four months.

This development demonstrates how biomass can be grown sustainably and with no negative impact on the environment and replace highly-polluting materials, such as concrete.

How do you feel about the possibility of growing material for your concrete slab right in your backyard? Please let us know in the comments below.

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