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From environmental nuisance to secondary raw material: coastal vegetal waste in composites industry

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Project elaborated in partnership: 
Submitted by: 
Asociación de Empresarios Textiles de la comunidad Valenciana - ATEVAL
Start/End date: 
09/2012 to 02/2015

Type of funding:


-Algae and seaweed accumulations on beaches and along our coasts are an environmental nuisance; this biomass emits unpleasant odors, promotes mosquitos and their rotting contribute to increase the high mortality in shellfish beds as they turn into rubbish. City Councils of the coastal areas are required to remove them if they want to remain their touristic conditions and their Blue Flag Beach category.

SEA-MATTER demonstrates that non-woven textile structures made from coastal vegetal wastes can be used as composites reinforcement in noise isolation acoustic panels.

Wet-laid technology has been selected as the most optimum technology to transform the algae wastes in non-wovens to be used as reinforced structure. Fibrous and particulate materials can be easily applied in wet-laid process to develop non-woven structures. These wastes have to meet some technical requirements (length, size, density, etc.) that have already been successfully studied; confirming the possibility of using these wastes as raw materials to form non-woven reinforcement.

The positive impact of SEA-MATTER project resides in giving value to the accumulated algae wastes and providing environmental benefit, as these wastes will not have to be disposed of but reused.

In addition, the possibility of using this algae and seaweed residues in textile non-woven industry with applications in building noise isolation opens a new environmental attractive option, to design new green composites as an alternative to the conventional synthetic ones.


Main results: 

-Through the correct execution of the LIFE-SEAMATTER Project we demonstrate the possibility of give value to the Posidonia Oceanica wastes obtaining technique acoustic isolation panels to be applied in the building sector.

The non-wovens developed through the wet-laid technology from coastal vegetal wastes are easily applicable as reinforcement for obtaining of composites through different technologies, offering good properties of acoustic isolation. Furthermore, when a good fire behavior is needed, it is possible to incorporate technical fibres with high thermal properties in the textile reinforcement process using wet-laid technology.