Bamboo in pipeline to cut carbon costs in construction

Due to an engineering research center for bamboo winding composites in China there is a new possibility to cut carbon costs in construction. The 110m tonnes of bamboo that goes to waste in China each year will soon be used for sustainable construction. Bamboo-based Composites Technology Co. forman mr Ye says “If we used that to make bamboo composite to replace traditional steel, cement, or plastic pipes, we could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 350m tonnes,”

Bamboo based replacement

Bamboo-based replacements have in recent years received recognition from the Chinese government as it searches for ways to reduce carbon costs in construction and infrastructure projects, which account for a high portion of the worlds carbon emissions.

Ye is hoping there will soon be a breakthrough for the industry. In the mid-2000s, he developed a process for making products by winding bamboo strips together and founded his company, which has so far mostly sold piping to meet the growing demand for irrigation, drainage and sewerage systems around the world.

Replacing traditional materials with bamboo could be an important way to ‘green’ emissions-intensive infrastructure initiatives,” says Charlotte King of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization, or Inbar. A study conducted by Inbar in 2015 found that the lifetime carbon footprints of various bamboo-based building materials were a net negative of 100 to 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide per cubic meter, compared with net positives of more than 30,000 kilograms for aluminum and around 15,000 kilograms for steel.

The use of synthetic glues, laminates and nonbiodegradable resin in some materials means that not all bamboo-based products are fully suited to the circular economy; the products will need to be burned for energy production after use, rather than the ideal scenario of being repurposed or recycled. This is the reason BambooLogic already started doing research to use biobased glues, like lignine, to its materials and composites.

Circular economy

The growth in the use of biomaterials as a replacement for traditional products made by more polluting industries is an offshoot of the country’s evolving understanding of how to build a green and circular economy. In recent years, policy has evolved toward “greening” the economy and building an “ecological civilization” — the latest buzzword for sustainable growth.

The use of bamboo-based products in infrastructure development is considered a promising option by environmental activists, especially in China because it gets right to the heart of China’s pollution problem: the industrial pollution that comes as a side effect of the country’s huge appetite for more infrastructure. Also in other countries where there is a need by achieving the climate objectives. Striking a balance between sustainability and expanding the economy has become a challenge for many companies. Using bamboo to achieve this could be a Logic solution.

Source: OZY & FT