University using plant waste to manufacture new materials

Plant fibres could rule the roost for new materials
Plant fibres could rule the roost for new materials
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UNIVERSITY researchers are striving to develop environmentally-friendly materials for automotive, marine and aerospace industries.

A team from the University of Portsmouth is joining forces with industries to develop materials using agricultural waste.

The university believes that using natural plant fibres can not only give farmers an extra source of income, but also reduce CO2 emissions.

Dr Hom Nath Dhakal, who leads the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM) Research Group at the University, said: ‘The impact of this work would be extremely significant because these lightweight alternatives could help reduce the weight of vehicles, contributing to less fuel consumption and fewer CO2 emissions.

‘The sustainable materials can be produced using less energy than glass and carbon fibres and are biodegradable, therefore easier to recycle.

‘The way forward for natural fibre composites to be used in structural applications would be a combination of both materials with a hybrid approach.’