Researchers at the University of Tokyo in Japan have developed an innovative technique that utilizes food waste in an unexpected way.
The process, according to student Kota Machida and professor Yuya Sakai, may transform food waste into a sturdy but malleable material similar to cement. They claim that it is sustainable and four times more powerful than ordinary cement and the researchers discovered that you can eat it!
Why edible cement?
Professor Sakai was seeking for a solution to use sustainable materials in place of cement-based concrete. According to the research organization Chatham House, the creation of cement produces significant amounts of carbon dioxide waste.
In Japan and around the world, food waste is a major issue. Japan generated 5.7 million tones of food waste in 2019. The federal government is attempting to reduce this to 2.7 million by 2030
The concrete may now be made from the food waste that ordinarily ends up in landfills, decomposing and emitting methane gas. If not needed, the material can be recycled and buried in the ground without harming the environment.
This unique material, according to Sakai and Machida, may substitute plastic and cement and reduce global warming caused by food waste.
This edible cement can be covered in Japanese lacquer to make it weatherproof. According to the researchers, doing this will prevent rodents from eating it. If implemented, the cement might play a significant role in lowering the rising global waste burden.
How is edible cement converted from food waste?
To make the concrete, Sakai first utilized wood chips under pressure and heat. Next, he added plastics and food waste. Sakai and his student Machida have created cement from food waste without plastic by drying, grinding, and compressing the waste food. With inexpensive equipment that can be purchased online, they changed the temperature and pressure.
The hardest thing, according to Sakai, was that varied temperatures and pressures were needed for various types of food waste.
Tea leaves, orange peels, coffee grounds, and lunch items have all been employed by the team to produce cement out of various forms of food waste.
Are there different flavors for this edible cement?
They have relished in the edible cement’s various hues, aromas, and even flavors. According to Sakai, one must break it up and boil it before eating.
Fabula, Inc. is the name of the business that Machida and two other associates have founded. To use the material for creating structures, they are collaborating with other businesses.
According to Sakai, the method utilized to produce cement might be applied to the construction of emergency shelters. For instance, he suggested, “If food cannot be given to evacuees, they could eat food fashioned into temporary beds.”
Tea leaves, orange and onion peels, coffee grounds, Chinese cabbage, and in some cases even lunchbox leftovers have been used by researchers to manufacture cement thus far. They were also able to change the colors and flavors of their product. They claim that after being cut into pieces and boiled, cement can be consumed.
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