Cintura, E., Faria, P., Duarte, M. & Nunes, L. (2022) Bio-wastes as aggregates for eco-efficient boards and panels: screening tests of physical properties and bio-susceptibility. Infrastructures, 7, 26. DOI:10.3390/infrastructures7030026.
Screening tests were developed or adapted from RILEM recommendations, standards and past studies, and carried out to characterize some agro-industrial wastes and to assess their feasibility as aggregates for eco-efficient building composites. Spent coffee grounds, grape and olive press waste and hazelnut shells were used, as well as maritime pine chips as control material. Particle size distribution, loose bulk density, thermal conductivity and hygroscopicity properties were analysed. The selected bio-wastes did not show good thermal insulation properties if compared with some bio-wastes already studied and used for thermal insulation composites. Values of loose bulk density and thermal conductivity were between 325.6–550.5 kg/m3 and 0.078–0.107 W/(m·K); moisture buffering values higher than 2.0 g/(m2·%RH). Biological susceptibility to mould and termites were also tested, using not yet standardized methods. The low resistance to biological attack confirms one of the greatest drawbacks of using bio-wastes for building products. However, final products properties may be changed by adding other materials, pre-treatments of the wastes and the production process.