It’s a date: Agricultural waste preventing buildings leaking energy

A versatile and low cost material has been created to provide maximum insulation for use in the construction industry.

UAEUDr Jdayil holds the actual insulator material his team has developed.

DATES are being used to create a form of insulation for buildings.

The agricultural waste is being combined with unsaturated polyester liquid and it is hoped the method will reduce emissions and other environmental pollutants.

Scientists at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) say the material could prevent buildings leaking energy and help to make the nation cleaner and greener.

Rates of energy consumption in the UAE are, per capita, among the highest in the world.

“In the UAE, there is an ongoing search for alternative means and materials that preserve and minimise the loss of energy in buildings,” explained project leader, Dr Basim Abu-Jdayil, Professor in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, UAEU.

“Because of this, heat insulators – which are a part of building materials and some industrial hardware – are steadily increasing in importance as a way of saving energy. However, those currently available are relatively expensive and narrowly used.

“In addition, materials typically used for insulation – such as polyurethane, polystyrene, and mineral wool – suffer from low mechanical properties that limit their use in the construction process.

“That means there is a necessity for an insulating material that possesses excellent mechanical and physical properties in terms of saving energy, preventing water leakage, and ease of handling and machining, and that can be extensively used.”