Building Technology: Coffee can make Concrete 30% stronger RMIT University Engineers
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Coffee may become expensive in the near future as a result of new discoveries. There’s an indication that it’s possible for people who constantly drink coffee to reduce the risk of early death as the substance is full of health benefits like combating cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. in addition to these vital values of coffee, as the world continue to thrive in impossible discovery through research and technology, a new discovery have been made by the RMIT University engineers who were in the school’s kitchen when they saw a trash can filled with used coffee grounds. Dr. Rajeev Roychand, the lead author of the study, pondered how the research team could find a way to recycle these used coffee grounds instead of letting them end up in landfills. They gathered the waste, roasted them at 350 degrees Celsius using a low-energy process without oxygen, and came up with a result and technique that can make concrete 30% stronger by turning waste coffee grounds into biochar.
According to Designboom, the research team composed of Dr. Rajeev Roychand, Dr. Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch, Dr. Mohammad Saberian, Professor Jie Li, Professor Guomin (Kevin) Zhang, and Professor Chun-Qing Li, employ the process called Pyrolysis which involves heating organic waste in the absence of oxygen.
Designboom further revealed that the engineer’s experimental project looks at pyrolyzing used coffee grounds at different temperatures, mainly 350 and 500 degrees Celsius in order to know how it can improve the physicochemical and mechanical properties of concrete. In this way, the engineers are giving the used coffee grounds a ‘double shot’ in life by turning them into an ingredient that can strengthen concrete rather than pouring them all into landfills.
The engineers at RMIT University found that the substance improved the material properties of concrete, which resulted in a 29.3% enhancement in the compressive strength of the concrete blended with coffee biochar, after they used pyrolyzed coffee grounds at 350 degrees Celsius which were combined with concrete as the replacement for fine sand. After a series of examinations and scans.
According to Dr. Rajeev Roychand, several councils have shown interest in their work and have engaged the research team for their upcoming infrastructure projects. They aim to test their technique and try using used coffee grounds in hopes of making concrete infrastructure up to 30% stronger. The study and technique can help reduce the use of sand to make concrete and replace it with coffee biochar.
According to the corresponding author and research team leader Professor Jie Li, the ongoing extraction of natural sand around the world, which is typically taken from river beds and banks, has a big impact on the environment. By roasting the used coffee grounds without oxygen and mixing the substance into the concrete-making process, ‘it could keep organic waste out of landfill and also better preserve our natural resources like sand.’
Though some people may argue that the process is not sustainable based on the fact that the volume of coffee that will be required in a construction project and cost implications may be unreasonable compared to the normal process, it’s an encouraging and inspired discovery. Great job by RMIT University Engineers.
Name: used coffee grounds for concrete
Institution: RMIT University
Team: Dr. Rajeev Roychand, Dr. Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch, Dr. Mohammad Saberian, Professor Jie Li, Professor Guomin (Kevin) Zhang, and Professor Chun-Qing Li
Edited by: MJ | Buildace Magazine