SBIR Phase I: Novel Gree oof Material Made From Recycled Solid Waste
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will study the feasibility of recycling used disposable diapers into green roof materials using simple processing technologies. Disposable diapers are the most disposed household product in North America, accounting for about four million tons solid waste annually. Currently, only a negligible percentage of them are recycled. Conventional recycling separates and purifies each component of a waste material for subsequent applications, where higher purity is associated with higher value. For the after-consumer disposable diapers, however, it is not profitable to recycle in this manner because of their complexity. The proposed approach is to process the diapers directly into modular green roof materials without completely separating the individual components. The proposed green roof product is lightweight, easy-to-use and drought-resistant, with high water uptake, long retention time, and a low maintenance cost compared to competing products. The Phase I technology development will target low-cost production and environmentally benign processing. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be a product which will accelerate the development of the green roof market in U.S. Currently, the domestic green roof market is limited, with a much smaller size than the European market. The lack of domestic recognition and the high cost of products are the primary reasons for this. Commercially available products are all somewhat similar in philosophy, in that some kind of container is filled with growth media and then mounted on an existing roof. The products resulting from this project will be low cost and have low maintenance requirements. The associated economic and social benefits of this project will include reductions in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste, and a decrease in the urban heat island effect, as well as habitat and biodiversity preservation, and stormwater retention. Broader market applications, such as horticultural lightweight growth medium, erosion control products, and growth medium for arid/semiarid areas, will also be considered.
Small Business Information at Submission:
11725 N. Briarpatch Drive Midlothian, VA 23113-2306
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