Industry News

New Fire-retardant Material Made Up of Coffee Waste and Epoxy Resin

Published on 2019-01-22. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Epoxy Coatings      Environmentally Friendly Coatings    

Dr Henry Leung from the School of Chemical and Life Sciences and his team of three final-year students from the Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry found a way to lessen the environmental impact of coffee waste. They have turned used coffee grounds into a flame retardant that could potentially be used to improve fire safety in homes and offices.

Leveraging Slow-burning Properties of Coffee

Fire retardant resin
By treating coffee waste and mixing it with epoxy resin – a material commonly found in floorings and walls of homes – the team were able to leverage the slow-burning properties of coffee to create a material that could withstand a fire by as much as two times that of regular epoxy resin.

This new material has also attained an “HB” grading, which indicates slow burning on a horizontal specimen, based on initial findings by a third-party testing laboratory. Apart from its fire-resistant qualities, the coffee-epoxy resin has the potential to become a total solution for reducing coffee waste as grounding coffee waste into compost requires large storage space. The incineration of compost is also a space- and energy-consuming process.

Exploring the Multitude of Uses

Moving forward, the team is going to get their product tested and certified by external experts while exploring the multitude of uses for this ground-breaking material.

Dr Henry Leung and his students are no strangers to turning coffee waste to sustainable products, they have also successfully created a biodegradable plastic from the coffee waste in 2017.

Source: NYP
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