Conversion of agricultural wastes into high quality, carbon-negative building materials to be used as replacement of AAC, red bricks, etc.
While housing-for-all is a tall order, it can still be achieved. But, achieving it while solving another problem that plagues the city of Delhi is the real kicker. Huge amounts of agricultural wastes are burnt every year in the States of Punjab, Haryana, etc., post which, the city of Delhi goes into a mini shutdown because of the high concentration of GHGs and particulate matter. What if the agricultural wastes can be turned into a resource? Bio-based building materials (BBMs) are essentially constituted of biomass and a lime-based binder, and are carbon-negative, lightweight, adequately strong, have thermal insulation and desirable hygrothermal behaviour.
We propose to purchase agricultural wastes such as wheat straw and stalks of other suitable cultivated crops that were being burned hitherto, and mix them with locally available lime and industrial wastes such as fly ash, clays, GGBS, silica fumes, etc. to produce meaningful building materials with adequate strength and durability, called Agrocrete. The proposal is based on existing knowledge and is backed by the state-of-the-art. We propose to develop this building material at the CSIR – Central Building Research Institute (CSIR-CBRI), Roorkee with whom we have an existing relationship. We have experience with developing a similar building material from the stalks of the hemp plant, called hempcrete, in our ongoing research collaboration with CSIR-CBRI.
Further, after the development of the product, we propose to setup small scale decentralised manufacturing units to collect raw materials and produce Agrocrete.