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Sunflower seed husks provide concrete alternative

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May 4, 2013

Sunflower seed husks seem to be a viable aggregate for certain uses (Photo: Phil Hawkswort...

Sunflower seed husks seem to be a viable aggregate for certain uses (Photo: Phil Hawksworth)

Ordinarily seen as a waste product, the husks of sunflower seeds could be used to make concrete, according to research out of Turkey. Not only are the husks a sustainable source of aggregate, it's claimed that the resulting concrete is more resistant to cracking during post-freeze thaws.

However, the researchers report that with greater concentrations of husk, the concrete would only be suitable for use as an insulating material. Lower husk density results in a lightweight concrete that could conceivably be used for construction purposes, though the researchers suggest this should be restricted to agriculture buildings a single story tall.

Having a high calorific value sunflower seed husks can also be formed into pellets for use as a biomass fuel.

The research was carried out by Can Burak Sisman and Erhan Gezer, engineers at Turkey's Namik Kemal University. The research appeared in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management.

Source: Alpha Galileo Foundation

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5 Comments

Burning them as fuel sounds like a better idea.

Slowburn
4th May, 2013 @ 10:18 am PDT

I agree, I think using it as a bio fuel makes more sense than using for contruction if one is limited to single floor farm structures (unless it is for areas where one does not need anything bigger than a single floor farm structure).

BigGoofyGuy
6th May, 2013 @ 06:12 am PDT

Hmm. Both ways are an interesting alternative, since conventional concrete and fuel (especially coal) emit anthropogenic CO2. Using sunflowers seeds which are renewable reduces that footprint. That said, having a low moisture content and a high energy density does make it a good replacement of say, coal.

Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
6th May, 2013 @ 08:55 am PDT

Better yet shred them up and sell them as a soil amendment or mulch.

Siegfried Gust
6th May, 2013 @ 09:03 am PDT

- You are missing the point here, tho not directly spoken of, There is an incredible amount of energy wrapped up in the production of cement/ concrete, materials like this can be used replacing 80% of the cement !

-And, there are new material effects related to what is mixed in here lite weight materials, different types of 'fly ash' highly refractory materials !

Check out pozzolan chimneys

Allen Lumley
6th May, 2013 @ 11:32 am PDT
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