PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Advertisement

PaintSquare


Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Today’s Espresso, Tomorrow’s Expressway

Monday, May 9, 2016

Comment | More

Coffee may already power a lot of engineers and construction crews, but some Australian researchers are looking at the brown stuff as a potential building material for roads, too.

Professor Arul Arulrajah, of Swinburne University of Technology's Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure, says he’s come up with a formula for mixing coffee grounds with slag to create a material that could be used as a subgrade in road building.

In a paper recently published in Construction and Building Materials, Arulrajah and his co-authors argue that their “research findings have the potential to transform the construction industry in the sustainable usage of waste by-products in future road subgrades.”

Arul Arulrajah and Teck-Ang Kua
Swinburne University of Technology

The formula Arulrajah and Kua came up with involves a mix of seven parts coffee grounds to three parts slag.

From Cafe to Lab

Arulrajah, who has worked in the past on the use of recycled materials in road construction, says he was inspired to consider the material when he observed baristas throwing out grounds at the coffeeshops he frequented. He says he thought: “Why not look at this as an engineering material?”

The formula Arulrajah and Ph.D. student Teck-Ang Kua came up with involves a mix of seven parts coffee grounds to three parts slag. They collect the grounds from coffeeshops near campus, dry them out and mix into the building formula.

The dry mixture is then combined with a liquid alkaline solution to create cylindrical blocks. “This green geopolymer comprising essentially of waste materials was found to be viable as a stabilized subgrade material,” the researchers state in their new paper.

Reducing Waste

Don’t expect a cross-country superhighway to be built completely of java, of course. It takes a lot of coffee grounds to build a road. Still, the point, from Arulrajah’s perspective, is cutting down on the use of new materials—and reusing something we were otherwise going to throw away.

“We estimate that the coffee grounds from Melbourne’s cafés could be used to build five kilometers of road per year,” Arulrajah said. “This would reduce landfill and the demand for virgin quarry materials."

And next time you stop at a café, you’ll worry less about shelling out a few dollars for a latte if you know the waste is going to a new road instead of a landfill.

   

Tagged categories: concrete; Green building; Roads/Highways

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (5/12/2016, 12:33 PM)

Ridiculous. Tremendous effort would be needed to collect that many grounds form hundreds of coffee shops, energy spent to drive them around, dry them out and compress them (before they go moldy, so you must do this daily) and you end up with a much less durable base (Unlike coffee grounds, rock doesn't rot and doesn't swell when it gets wet) and you have much better potential uses for the grounds, such as composting to enrich the soil.


Comment from B Brown, (5/19/2016, 10:12 PM)

Does anyone consider how much green house gas, the stuff we we were told is causing global warming will be require to put this minor quantity of waste to use? By the way, global warming is a farce but climate change is something that has occurred repeatedly thoughout history and has been very well documented repeatedly in archeological and geological studies. I am thinking we need a thumbs down DISLIKE button for this nonsense. Now if the good doctor, surviving on his government grant research money came up with a road base or other use for the plastic that fills greater than 50% of my refuse bin each week we might pave several thousand kilometers per year with refuse from the same community.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Introducing the ALPHA1 Blasting Robot
 
Once installed and commissioned – simply
SCAN PLAN BLAST.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
 
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.
 

 
Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
 
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
 
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
Sauereisen, Inc.
 
SewerGard® 210XHB
 
• 300 mils in a single coat by plural component equipment
• Fast Setting
• 100% Solids Epoxy
• Chemical-resistant barrier for municipal wastewater environments
sauereisen.com
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
Fischer Technology Inc.
 
Maximize Profits by Monitoring Coating Thickness
 
Learn more by contacting Fischer Technology today: 1.860.683.0781
 

 
Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
 
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
 
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!
1(800)-252-7869
 

 
Vector Technologies Ltd.
 
The Original Performance Proven Vacuum Solutions
 
VecLoader® 616 Double Dump, Continuous Vacuum, 170 HP w/ 2,400 CFM & 28” Hg. 33% More Efficient than traditional vacuum systems! Choose Vector for the most powerful and the most reliable trailer mounted vacuums in the industry! Email us at: inquiry@vector-vacuums.com or call us at: 800-832-4010
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy (Updated 1/8/2018)   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us