Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Biochar as a Building Material | Mechanical Engineering

Biochar as a Building Material | Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kua Harn Wei
Associate Professor and Assistant Dean (Academic)
School of Design and Environment
National University of Singapore
A by-product of pyrolysis of biomass, biochar has been widely studied as a type of soil enhancement and even a replacement of carbon nanotubes in a wide range of applications, including as capacitors and sensors.

The Smart Materials Laboratory of the Department of Building, National University of Singapore, has been working on producing and studying a wide variety of sustainable building materials that utilize biochar as a key ingredient. For example, increase in strength and decrease in water absorption of mortar and concrete have been achieved by adding up to 2% wt of biochar that is produced from mixed wood wastes. Current efforts include the use of food waste as a viable feedstock for biochar that is used to enhance the performance of mortar, as well as using biochar as a mean of immobilizing special species of microbes that are capable of self-healing of cracks in concrete.

The aim of this seminar is to trigger more conversation and thinking on using biochar in a wider range of building materials and technology, including the use of biochar in additive manufacturing of building components.

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