Canadian Packaging

Waste vegetables make concrete stronger

By Canadian Packaging staff   

Design & Innovation General Sustainability carrots CelluComp concrete made from vegetables Lancaster University sugar beets veggie concrete

A combination of waste carrots and sugar beets makes concrete just as strong as a traditional mixture but cost-savings are found as less concrete needs to be used.

We’ve all heard about how eating your vegetables can help make your body stronger, but can it also make concrete stronger?

Just a few months ago, it was reported that concrete could be made not only stronger but more eco-friendly by adding graphene to it.

However, Lancaster University in Britain’s professor Mohamed Saafi has completed a study whereby using cellulose-based platelets made from carrots and sugar beets—and used by CelluComp of Scotland to create a less expensive nano platelet than graphene and have achieved in better results—that makes a stronger concrete with fiscal and green bonuses.

Using waste vegetables from the food industry, CelluComp has added the veggies to a standard concrete mixture or cement, aggregate and water which increases the calcium silicate hydrate levels, which provide the strength in concrete.

The carrot/sugar beet combo made the concrete stronger than the traditional non-additive mixture whereby 40 kilograms less of concrete was required per cubic meter to achieve the same level of concrete strength.

Less concrete + more food waste veggies = good strength concrete.

It also means less carbon dioxide emissions are created during cement production.

As an added bonus, the same strength of veggie concrete actually makes the concrete more dense (in the microstructure) meaning anything built with the veggie-concrete should resist erosion better and thus last longer, though we may find more rabbits licking our buildings.

The scientists at Lancaster University are examining ways that waste vegetables used to create the nano platelet sheets could be used as exterior coverings on structures to replace traditional concrete, to add strength and increase structure lifespan.

See… vegetables are good for you…. and your architecture.

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