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Minimizing the Global Warming Potential with Geopolymer-Based Insulation Material with Miscanthus Fiber

  • Approximately 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the construction and use of buildings. Thermal insulation of buildings in the current context of climate change is a well-known strategy to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The development of renewable insulation material can overcome the drawbacks of widely used insulation systems based on polystyrene or mineral wool. This study analyzes the sustainability and thermal conductivity of new insulation materials made of Miscanthus x giganteus fibers, foaming agents, and alkali-activated fly ash binder. Life cycle assessments (LCA) are necessary to perform benchmarking of environmental impacts of new formulations of geopolymer-based insulation materials. The global warming potential (GWP) of the product is primarily determined by the main binder component sodium silicate. Sodium silicate's CO2 emissions depend on local production, transportation, and energy consumption. The results, which have been published during recent years, vary in a wide range from 0.3 kg to 3.3 kg CO2-eq. kg-1. The overall GWP of the insulation system based on Miscanthus fibers, with properties according to current thermal insulation regulations, reaches up to 95% savings of CO2 emissions compared to conventional systems. Carbon neutrality can be achieved through formulations containing raw materials with carbon dioxide emissions and renewable materials with negative GWP, thus balancing CO2 emissions.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Steffen Witzleben
Parent Title (English):Polymers
Article Number:3191
Number of pages:10
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2022/08/05
Copyright:© 2022 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Funding:This work was supported by the European Regional Development Fund [Grant No. EFRE 0500035] and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research [Grant No. 13FH158IN6].
Keyword:Miscanthus; fiber composites; geopolymer; thermal insulation materials
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Angewandte Naturwissenschaften
Institut für Technik, Ressourcenschonung und Energieeffizienz (TREE)
Projects:FHInvest 2016: Feldemissions-Elektronenmikroskop mit Computertomographie-System für Materialentwicklungen und Sicherheitstechnologien (DE/BMBF/13FH158IN6)
Biobasierte Produkte (EFRE/0500035)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 66 Chemische Verfahrenstechnik / 660 Chemische Verfahrenstechnik
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 333.7 Natürliche Ressourcen, Energie und Umwelt
Entry in this database:2022/08/18
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International