Innovative Insulating Materials from Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) Straw for Building Applications

Evelien Uitterhaegen, Laurent Labonne, Othmane Merah, Thierry Talou, Stéphane Ballas, Thierry Véronèse, Philippe Evon


Straw represents 60-80% of the aerial part of the coriander plant. Because of the increasing demand for vegetable oil from fruits for food, cosmetics or the chemical industry, the availability of straw will grow strongly in the future. Its high lignocellulose content (62%) makes this crop by-product an interesting raw material for producing bio-based building materials. Bulk materials can be obtained by refining the straw through twin-screw extrusion in the presence of water. The fiber aspect ratio of refined straw can be varied (22.9-26.5) by applying different liquid/solid ratios (0.4-1.0), leading to a variation in the tapped density of the resulting bulk material (110-61 kg/m3). For the lowest density, thermal conductivity is 47.3 mW/(m.K). Twin-screw refining can also be conducted from an aqueous borax solution. Refined straw thus becomes fire-proofed, making it usable as loose fill in housing. Insulation blocks of medium density, associating straw and a starch-based binder, can also be produced through compression molding. With a density of 155 kg/m3 and a thermal conductivity of 55.6 mW/(m.K), the optimal cohesive blocks (7.5 mm milled straw and 15% binder), cold-pressed at 87 kPa for 30 s, are promising alternatives for the thermal insulation of buildings (e.g., filling of walls, interior partitions, etc.).

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379


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