This innovation has a double benefit, utilising a waste product, but also lessening the need for other important construction resources such as sand.
Australian engineers from RMIT University are making concrete 30% stronger by turning waste coffee grounds into biochar using a low-energy process without oxygen. Australia generates 75m kgs of ground coffee waste annually with most of it going to landfills, a number that balloons to 10bn kgs on a global scale.
One of the engineers, Dr Rajeev Roychand, said the inspiration for the work was finding an innovative way of using the large amounts of coffee waste in construction projects, diverting the grounds from landfills. According to Roychand the disposal of organic waste poses an environmental challenge as it emits large amounts of greenhouse gases including methane and carbon dioxide and several councils battling with disposal of organic waste have shown interest in the work. The findings of Australian engineers could potentially offer an innovative way to significantly reduce the amount of organic waste that goes into landfill and could potentially benefit construction industries around the world.