Imagine that your bricks, interior walls of any space and furniture are made from corn stem, rice husk or beans pod. If you already did it, I introduce you to the project "IXIM"; a sustainable material that is also 100% biodegradable and aims to replace masonry blocks and furniture pieces. These type of blocks, use mainly two types of raw materials (any of the fibers named above, and a natural binder extracted from the aquaculture industry). The core value of the project is, on one hand, to leverage these types of agro-industrial residues to generate new channels of revenues for fisheries and farm workers. On the other hand, it is to develop environmentally friendly materials to avoid and reduce the use of timber and mined aggregates for the furniture and construction industries respectively.
The material (product) seeks to be environmentally friendly because it reduces the incineration of agricultural waste. Additionally, it sequestrates carbon dioxide in the blocks composition, and it goes through a composting process after the end of its useful life.
These types of bricks have been developed to be useful in the Low Carbon Building (LCB) sector. Likewise, more types of fibers will be introduced to encourage the use of local materials and reduce the cost of transport distance.
Also depending on the fiber selected for its composition, it is worth highlighting, that the properties of each block may vary depending on the type of fiber used. For example, the texture of the corn stem blocks looks similar to wood, unlike to the rice husk that resemble a stone texture. In addition, the size of the blocks and their weight vary after the drying process is carried out.
Accordingly, it seems that the most important advantages provided by this type of blocks are:
- Take advantage of agro-industrial and aquaculture waste to make a unique and innovative material
- Reduce the cost of distance
- Easier to load and transport because the material weight is lighter than traditional bricks
- Biodegradable and non-polluting
- Provide social, economic and environmental benefit to local communities
- Generate post-consumption savings by going through a composting process instead of traditional treatment processes