The Formation Of Food Cement
According to the Chatham House, a London-based organization providing solutions to climate change, 8 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide is emitted by cement production processes. Considering this, researchers developed a technology that could decrease dependency on concrete-based cement.
“The most challenging part was that each type of food waste requires different temperatures and pressure levels,” said Yuya Sakai, associate professor and a researcher at Tokyo University. Other experiments using food materials in construction involved using stuff such as bio-waste ashes and coffee grounds as filler in typical concrete. Researchers claim that they have successfully made ‘food cement‘ with onion and orange peels, tea leaves, Chinese cabbage and lunch-box leftovers. They’ve also added colours, scents and flavours with different spices to make it more appealing. “To be able to eat the material, a person would need to break it into pieces and boil it,” said Sakai. Further, to protect the cement from pests and rodents and make it waterproof, they coated it with Japenese Lacquer. It is a highly prized craft material made from lacquer tree sap and forms a waterproof surface on objects when dried.
As far as food wastage and management problems are considered in Japan, the country produces approximately 3.3 million tons of food waste. It generated 5.7 million tons of edible waste in 2019 alone. However, the government is working to reduce the quantity to 2.7 million tons by 2030.
“Our ultimate hope is that this cement replaces plastic and cement products, which have worse environmental impacts,” said Machida.