3 times read

Coir Based Building Materials : Posibilities For Technology Transfer And Implementation

A simple and robust technology has been developed to produce high performance fibreboards from whole coconut husks, without the addition of chemical binders. Based on the results of successful pilot scale manufacturing experiments the economic outlook for industrial production of the board material was estimated. This resulted in the launching of a first industrial scale (15 tons/day) production plant in Lagunas, Philippines. The options for adaptation of this technology are studied also in other regions in the Philippines, and some other coconut growing countries like Indonesia (N. Sulawesi) and India, Kenya and Surinam. With the rising prices for wood and wood products the use of alternative non-wood substitute timber materials is promising. Also the high costs of petrochemical glues in the panel and board industries offers additional perspective to binderless board manufacturing.  

The innovation of coconut board manufacturing especially seems to fit in the concept of whole nut biorefinery, i.e. utilizing all components of the coconut (husk, shell, water, oil and press cake) for centralized small scale (pre) processing at the village level. This presentation addresses the socio-economic preconditions for the different steps, starting from coconut husk harvesting up to final board production and marketing. Improvement of the living standard at the village level by the provision of labour in the rural areas is essential to sustainable regional development.  

Like in many industries production costs are highly dependent on raw material and energy costs combined with production throughput. Evaluation of the critical processing parameters shows that industrial production of coir-based boards can be highly competitive with plywood and particleboard on the market for building panels.Common marketing of this innovative coconut product implies also issues of responsible investments, standardization and certification for compliance with stringent environmental and safety requirements. For the marketing as an ecological preferred product all the advantages can be combined that no trees have to be cut and no deforestation will occur nor polluting or harmful chemicals are needed and the income of the farmers in the poorest regions in the world can be increased.

....Read Now