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Organic Waste Bio-Based Materials for 3D Extrusion: Eggshells, Shells Sand and Coffee grains with Sodium Alginate

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This study explores bioplastics fabrication based on alginate polymer with added glycerine as a plasticizer, creating flexibility, and organic waste was used as a filler avoiding shrinkage. Exploratory, observational and experimental, Literature Review, amongst other methods, were used within a Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology by Design through practice. The research material was documented through an open-source FabLab platform and shared with a community of researchers and future designers who want to design innovative and environmentally friendly materials to replace synthetic plastics. Fifteen different bio-based materials resulted from this experiment, applicable for varied applications. Results show that different fillers added to sodium alginate and glycerine present ample opportunities for sustainable bio-ceramics, bio-composites and bio-plastics.
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© 2022 Instituto Politécnico de
Castelo Branco.
Convergências: Volume 15 (29)
31 maio, 2022
Volume XV (29) 77
ABSTRACT
This study explores bioplastics fabrication based
on alginate polymer with added glycerine as
a plasticizer, creating exibility, and organic
waste was used as a ller avoiding shrinkage.
Exploratory, observational and experimental,
Literature Review, amongst other methods,
were used within a Qualitative and Quantita-
tive Methodology by Design through practice.
The research material was documented through
an open-source FabLab platform and shared
with a community of researchers and future
designers who want to design innovative and
environmentally friendly materials to replace
synthetic plastics. Fifteen dierent bio-based
materials resulted from this experiment, ap-
plicable for varied applications.
Results show that dierent llers added to
sodium alginate and glycerine present ample
opportunities for sustainable bio-ceramics, bio-
composites and bio-plastics.
KEYWORDS
Bio-based materials, alginate bio-
composites, open-source, 3D handheld
printing, FabLab
RESUMO
Este estudo explora a fabricação de bioplásticos
à base de polímero de alginato com adição de
glicerina como plasticante, criando exibili-
dade. Resíduos orgânicos foram usados como
enchimento e reduzir o encolhimento.
Foram utilizados métodos Qualitativos e Quan-
titativos para Design através da prática, tais
como: Exploração, Observação e Experimen-
tação, e Revisão de Literatura, entre outros.
O material de pesquisa foi documentado por
meio de uma plataforma FabLab de código
aberto e compartilhado com uma comunidade
de pesquisadores e futuros designers que dese-
jam projetar materiais inovadores e ecológicos
capazes de substituir os plásticos sintéticos. Re-
sultaram desta experiência quinze materiais de
base biológica, aplicáveis a diversas funções.
Os resultados mostram que diferentes enchi-
mentos adicionadas ao alginato de sódio e
glicerina apresentam amplas oportunidades
para biocerâmicas, biocompósitos e bioplásticos
sustentáveis.
PALAVRAS-CHAVE
Materiais de base biológica, biocompósitos
de alginato, open-source, Impressora 3D
de mão, FabLab.
Case Reports
ORGANIC WASTE BIO-BASED MATERIALS
FOR 3D EXTRUSION:
EGGSHELLS, SHELLS SAND AND COFFEE
GRAINS WITH SODIUM ALGINATE
Materiais de base biológica com resíduos orgânicos para extrusão
3D: Cascas de ovos, areia de conchas e grãos de café com
alginato de sódio
CAROLINA VASCO COSTA
DELGADO1
Investigation, Writing and
Visualization
ORCID: 0000-0003-2904-1829
REBECCA LOUISE BREUER2
Investigation and Validation
ORCID: 0000-0003-3197-5444
GABRIELA SANTOS FORMAN3
Supervision and Validation
ORCID: 0000-0002-8029-5413
1/3 CIAUD, Research Centre
for Architecture, Urbanism
and Design, Lisbon School of
Architecture, Universidade de
Lisboa
2 Amsterdam University of
Applied Sciences, Netherlands
Correspondent Author:
Carolina Vasco Costa Delgado
Rua Sá Nogueira, Pólo
Universitário, Alto da Ajuda
1349-063 Lisboa.
carolinavcdelgado@gmail.com
DOI: 10.53681/c1514225187514391s.29.133
Submission date:
17/02/2022
Acceptance date:
01/04/2022
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022
78
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Design for sustainability
Once an excellent solution for designing all kinds of products, plastic has become one of
the most urgent problems to tackle currently. The material created to last is now, ironically,
used for single-use purposes. Thirty-three per cent of all plastic – water bottles, straws and,
most recently, unnecessary plastic packaging from e-commerce giants such as Amazon – is
used once and thrown away (Plastic Pollution Coalition, n.d.). Plastic, however, will not biode-
grade but breaks down into microscopic particles, contaminating the waters, threatening
wildlife, poisoning food chains, aecting human health, the environment and costing bil-
lions to halt (Ibid.). Thus, there is an urgent need for plastic alternatives within the Design
industry (Lockton et al., 2013).
The design process should include the state art of materials, and their most sustainable
solutions should be identied. However, many times the design team has cost and time
limitations and may not have all the solutions available. Nevertheless, material changes in
the subsequent phases of production are more complex and expensive, delaying and com-
promising the nal product. It is easier and less costly when available sustainable materials
are intertwined with the design process. Therefore, materials experiments during the product
design and fast prototyping allow easier changes and results. When considering closing the
product life loop into a Circular Economy, the design process for each product element,
assembling parts and machines available are the basis for identifying and evaluating the
externalities. Once all the elements are dened, corrections can improve the sustainable
product impact (Pfeifer, 2009). Therefore, bio-based materials reveal opportunities when
considering a sustainable economy.
2. STATE OF THE ART
2.1. Bio-based composites
Bio-based composites can combine two or more materials from a natural source: a
reinforcing (e.g. bres, particles) and a matrix (e.g. polymer, metal or ceramic). According
to Saxena et al., soon, biodegradable polymers are expected to replace synthetics. Natural
bre composites are easily available, renewable, low-cost, lightweight and with specic
strengths and stinesses. Bio-composites have received much commercial success in the
semi-structural as well as structural applications (Saxena et al., 2011, p. 124).
Organic-based bio-plastic uses natural polymers from renewal biomass sources through
polymerization reaction (Kipngetich & Hillary, 2012).
Green composites can be dened as bio-derived polymers reinforced with natural -
bres; these might take on dierent properties and applications. According to Dicker et al.,
the main attribute of green composites “is their tendency to absorb water and degrade; a
complementary application attribute would be limited exposure to moisture” (Dicker et
al., 2013). Nevertheless, this material research study focused on hydrophobic properties to
provide material longevity, resilience and applicability in 3D projects (e.g. pots, reusable
packaging, tableware, furniture); (Sauerwein, 2020). Therefore, waterproof seaweed-based
polymer (i.e. sodium alginate) was chosen, considering future studies can access raw mate-
rial (both in Portugal and the Netherlands).
Seaweed in Europe, in North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, are used for varied pur-
poses from food to bio-fertilizers. Depending on the size, they have named macroalgae or
seaweed (i.e. benthic) or microalgae (i.e. planktonic) and be divided into three taxonomic
groups: Chlorophyta (green algae), Rhodophyta (red algae) and Phaeophyceae (brown algae).
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022 79
Seaweed presents an added value by neutralizing greenhouse gas emissions from factories,
remediating wastewater and using CO2
as a nutrient source (Ferreira, 2014). Seaweed may be
collected by mechanical harvesting, by boat, or manual depending on the species, allowing
a simple, productive and eco-friendly industry with low investment (Radulovich et al., 2015).
Another advantage of seaweed is the high growth rate (Kipngetich & Hillary, 2012, p. 11).
Brown algae contain Algins with a large amount of alginate used for many applications
(e.g. biomedical, packaging, food, paper industry, textiles, wound dressing).
When crosslinked with calcium chloride, sodium alginate (the most common salt of algi-
nate) generate strong gels that can be used and applied with dierent methods (e.g. solvent
casting, extrusion, spraying). In addition, seaweed-based materials mechanical properties
can be changed depending on the plasticizers: improving exibility and resistance and
reducing brittleness (Senturk Parreidt et al., 2018).
2.2. Organic Waste Fillers
Natural llers can be classied depending on three sources: Plant, Animal and Mineral.
The dierent sources were used for this study. Three waste llers were used:
Chicken Eggshells from industrial by-products constitutes a severe environmental hazard.
However, they contain up to 95% calcium carbonate and can be used as a value bio-ller
for composites (Toro et al., 2007).
Shell sand is mainly formed from shells, barnacles, sea urchins, snails and skeletal calcare-
ous algae. Natural shell sand takes a long time to be naturally created. Therefore, it can be
considered a non-renewable resource (Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse, n.d.). Nevertheless,
shells collected from the aquaculture and seafood industry provide a valuable biomaterial
with environmental and economic benets instead of waste resources (Morris et al., 2019).
Coee Grounds the majority of the 7 million metric tons of coee produced each year,
goes to a landll or is composted. Nonetheless, materials with coee grounds can result in
a biodegradable composite, light, with the smell of coee.
See materials inspirations on g.1, g.2 and g.3.
Fig.1
Oyster Shells 3D printed
Source: Georgiou, n.d.
materiom.org/recipe/609
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022
80
3. METHODOLOGY
3.1. Materials
The bio-composites with organic waste llers were experimented with: used coee grains,
prepared egg shells (washed and hoven dried), Puik shells sand mixture for birds, sodium
alginate, calcium chloride, glycerine, tap water, white vinegar and white sugar. Jars, pots,
spoons, hand mixer, metal lter, stone mortar, stove, hoven and precision scale were used
on the materials preparation.
The extruder parts were designed in Rhinoceros and printed in a Prusa 3D Printer with
PETG, PLA and PLA/PHA (see g. 6). Assembled with a syringe, 5V stepper motor and
long threaded bolt with nut.
3.2. Methods
This project was done during one week for the 2020 Fabricademy assignment ‘Open-source
hardware: from bres to textile’, Textile Lab Amsterdam. Open-source hardware was used with
bio-based materials to be extruded resourcing to a handheld 3D printer (Jongenburger, 2013).
A Qualitative and Quantitative Methodology was divided into parallel methods: the division
allowed doing dierent tasks simultaneously, considering one-week assignment. Methods
were: Literature Review; Design through Practice, Exploratory Ideation; Project Develop-
ment; Prototyping and Assembling; Material Experiments with Sodium Alginate and llers;
Coding and testing.
Fig.2
Eggware
Source: Kochhar,2018
materiom.org/recipe/122
Fig.3
Coee Material ONA 535
Source: Coee Based, n.d.
materialdistrict.com
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022 81
The experiment recipes started from provided references (Bolumburu, 2018; Ferlatte, 2019;
Kochhar, 2018). These were adjusted for appropriate usage of a syringe with an electric
handheld extruder for 3D printing.
The research was developed for educational purposes within the Design eld. Through direct
observation, bio-based composites were analysed through: a) needed eort of handheld
extrusion; b) through the solidity or liquidity; c) adaptation to the nozzle in use; d) their
properties. Materials were photographed in two distinct phases: wet and cured and after the
material was dried to observe shrinking and nal characteristics (Table 1, in Appendices).
4. DEVELOPMENT
Through Ideation, it was dened to develop a handheld extruder and bio-based materials
to extrude. The class with six students from dierent backgrounds and nationalities was
divided into identied tasks, according to personal skills and interests: Coding motor control
+ adapting 3D le; Sketches; Assembling the machine; 3D Printing; Materials recipes and
Documentation. Although there was interaction during the project, the division allowed
doing dierent tasks in parallel, considering one week as the timeline.
Google docs and drive were used for sharing all the created work. For quickly study results,
a novel extruder was developed from a previous open-source 3D extruder model.
Several experiments with bio-composites using sodium alginate and organic waste as llers
were completed successfully and utilizing a novel handheld 3D printer, revealing feasibility
(see g.4 and g.5).
Polymerization process: 1) Sodium alginate with glycerine as a plasticizer, tap water as a
vehicle; llers and stieners (e.g. eggshells, coee grains waste; shells sand); 2) Moulding
and Curing – spraying with Calcium chloride hydrated (10% solution); 3) Drying – in air
and room temperature.
Fig.4
Ingredients prep – Eggshells,
Shells sand, Sodium Alginate and
Glycerine.
Source: Fabricademy class 2020-2021.
Fig.5
Filtering oyster from shells
sand-shell sand, 'white sand' and
'dark sand'
Source: Fabricademy class 2020-2021.
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82
5. ANALYSES AND RESULTS
Most samples present opportunities as bio-based materials, although three recipes were
chosen as nal results by their specic characteristics: facility in extrusion on the handheld
3D extruder developed; fast curing process and materials aspects after two weeks drying.
A comparative sample with white sugar (for texture) was made and discard (although sugar
soluble in waster could be tested for new results). Material was too sti to be extruded and
is not organic waste (code 10 SSS - Table 1, p. 5).
The shell sand appears like a strong composite with some minimal pores. It needs to be
tested to conrm its waterproof behaviour (code 10 ASS-W8 - Table 1, p. 5).
Eggshells bio-based material created a ceramic result (code 12 AE - Table 1, p. 5). It needs
to be tested with the most delicate eggshell powder to conrm the possibility of 3D moulds
and extrusion. White eggshells can have more concentration of calcium. They resulted whiter
and suggested a benet when returning to nature (e.g. plants fertilizer; fodder for birds).
Coee grains absorbed more moisture, resulting in a grained bio-plastic with a coee
aroma (code 13 AC - Table 1, p. 5). Depending on sodium alginate, water and glycerine, it
can result in a more sti composite or a exible rubber or leather. The yarn extruded was
fast to cure and dry, and exible, while the 3D extruded in layers in the Petry dish resulted
stier, suggesting that it loses more water after cured and dried.
Fig.6
Extruder designs evolutions,
adapted from (Jongenburger, 2013),
Model adjustments in Rhino,
Source: Sara Alvarez/Fabricademy class
2020-2021
Table1
Bio-composites experiments
– summarised description
Source: the author 2020
CODE PLASTICISER POLYMER STIFFENING CURING VEHICLE NOTES
1 AE -1 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 7,5 gr
Eggshells
50 ml
Water
Based on:
(Kochhar, 2018)
(Ferlatte, 2019).
Very liquid.
2 ASS-W 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 7,5 gr Shell
sand
White part
(Pet Stores)
50 ml
Water
Based on:
(Ferlatte, 2019)
Still, uid
resulted better.
More stiness
needed.
Filter the shell
sand removing
the big dark
parts.
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022 83
3 ASS-D 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 7,5 gr Shell
sand
- Grounded
oyster
(Dark parts)
Based on:
(Ferlatte, 2019)
Very liquid.
Filter the shell
sand removing
the big dark
parts. Mortar
the dark parts
to powder.
4 ASS-W2 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 15 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
50 ml
Water
Based on:
(Ferlatte, 2019)
Tested with 4
gr Alginate
became too sti,
so returned to
2 gr.
5 ASS-W3 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 30 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
50 ml
Water
Better results
before casting.
Move forward
with more
Shell sand
experiments.
6 ASS-W4 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 15 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
5 ml Vinegar 50 ml
Water
Material
resulted in very
lumpy and
sticky.
Curing with
5 ml white
Vinegar
7 ASS-W5 10 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 15 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
50 ml
Water
Too sti. Hard
to pass on the
nozzle.
8 ASS-W6 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 60 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
50 ml
Water
Results better
than previews
recipe but
needs more
Shell sand.
9 ASS-W7 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 75 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
50 ml
Water
Move forward
with more Shell
sand.
10 ASS-W8 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 90 gr Shell
sand
Filtered
white part
50 ml
Water
Too hard to
extrude. Move
to preview - less
Shell sand.
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022
84
11 SSS 5 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 70gr White
Sugar
15 ml
Water
Discarded - Not
a waste ller.
12 AE-2 4 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 30 gr
Eggshells
White
30 ml
Water
Based on:
(Ferlatte, 2019)
Better result for
extruding (than
1-AE-1)
13 AC 10 ml
Glycerine
5 gr Alginate 20 gr
Coee
grains
75 ml
Water
Based on:
(Bolumburu,
2018)
Very hard to
extrude by
hand. Good to
work as Bio-
composite
14 AE-3 4 ml
Glycerine
2 gr Alginate 30 gr
Eggshells
White
50 ml
Water
Based on:
(Ferlatte, 2019)
Very hard to
extrude.
15 AE-4 40 ml
Glycerine
20 ml
Sunower oil
24 gr Alginate 30 gr
Eggshells
White
400 ml
Water
Based on:
(Raspanti,
2020)
Fabricademy
Alginate Bio-
plastic
Good to
extrude with
the syringe.
6. CONCLUSIONS
In seashore countries (e.g. Portugal, Netherlands), shells sand reveal opportunities for treas-
uring waste as sustainable materials.
High calcium carbonate value on Eggshells waste gives particular resilience and physical
attributes, of worth, for bio-ceramic composites.
Coee grains bio-composite revealed plasticity and rubber appearance, relevant for vegan
leathers or packaging. These have potential interest for future studies: collecting waste on
city coee shops and scaling up bio-based products.
The three elected experiments revealed that could be classied dierent accordingly to
characteristics: shell sand bio-composite (see g.8b); eggshell bio-ceramic (see
g.8b); and coee grain bio-plastic (see g.8c);.
In conclusion, using natural waste for bio-composites allow easy reproduction, testing and
improved results. Furthermore, using open-source bases promotes worldwide collaborative
learning and research towards a sustainable approach (e.g. social and economic).
Organic wastes as llers suggest low shrinkage when comparing after extrusion with curing,
with after dried results.
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022 85
6.1. Future Recommendations
Future experiments are needed to collect more data about material resistance, shrinking,
waterproof properties and weight.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This work is nanced by national funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a
Tecnologia, I.P., under the Strategic Project with the references UIDB/04008/2020 and
UIDP/04008/2020, and by PhD Research Scholarship FCT 2021.04708.BD.
The authors gratefully acknowledge TextileLab Amsterdam - Fabricademy collaboration.
This paper was presented at the 6th CIDAG | International Conference on Design and
Graphic Arts, which took place on 20, 21 and 22 October 2021, and was organised by ISEC
Lisboa - Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências and Instituto Politécnico de Tomar.
Fig.7
Bio-based composites extruded
clockwise: a) Shell sand; b)
Coee grains experiments; white
Eggshells
Source: Fabricademy class 2020-2021.
Fig.8
Top – after curing; bottom - two
weeks drying - left to right:
a) 10 ASS-W8 Shell sand;
b) 12 AE - White Eggshells;
c) 13 AC - Coee grains;
Source: Fabricademy class 2020-2021
Convergências: Volume XV (29), 31 maio, 2022
86
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[Please email me - dan@danlockton.co.uk - for a PDF, until the open access embargo has expired] Products and services explicitly intended to influence users' behaviour are increasingly being proposed to reduce environmental impact and for other areas of social benefit. Designing such interventions often involves adopting and adapting principles from other contexts where behaviour change has been studied. The 'design pattern' form, used in software engineering and HCI, and originally developed in architecture, offers benefits for this transposition process. This article introduces the Design with Intent toolkit, an idea generation method using a design pattern form to help designers address sustainable behaviour problems. The article also reports on exploratory workshops in which participants used the toolkit to generate concepts for redesigning everyday products – kettles, curtains, printers and bathroom sinks/taps – to reduce the environmental impact of use. The concepts are discussed, along with observations of how the toolkit was used by participants, suggesting usability improvements to incorporate in future versions.
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Chicken eggshell (ES) is an industrial byproduct containing 95% calcium carbonate, and its disposal constitutes a serious environmental hazard. Different proportions of chicken eggshell as bio-filler for polypropylene (PP) composite were compared with different particle sizes and proportions of commercial talc and calcium carbonate fillers by tensile test. The Young's modulus (E) was improved with the increment of ES content, and this bio-filler was better than all types of carbonate fillers with different particle sizes used in this study. Although ES composites showed lower E values than talc composites, talc filler could be replaced by up to 75% with ES while maintaining a similar stiffness and E compared to the talc composites. Scanning electron microscopy showed an improved interfacial bonding on the tensile fractured surface. The improvement in the mechanical properties was attributed to a better ES/matrix interface related to the geometric ratio of the ES particles similar to talc particles.
Article
Mollusc aquaculture is advocated as a highly sustainable food source and may play an important role in future food security globally. With production increasing worldwide, it is timely to appraise all aspects of aquaculture when considering its expanding role as a food source. In this regard, one regularly overlooked aspect of mollusc aquaculture is waste generation: namely the production of calcareous shells. Shells from the aquaculture industry are widely regarded as a nuisance waste product, yet at the same time, calcium carbonate is mined in the form of limestone and viewed as a valuable commodity. In a time of increased awareness of the need for a circular economy, the aquaculture and seafood industry should consider shells as a valuable biomaterial that can be reused for both environmental and economic benefit. This review discusses the current waste shell issue and identifies large-scale shell applications that are already in place. Further, it highlights proposed applications that have the potential to be scaled up to address the problem of waste shell accumulations and reduce our reliance on environmentally damaging incineration and landfill disposal. Of the plethora of shell valorisation techniques proposed in the scientific literature, this review will focus only on those that can incorporate large-scale shell utilisation, and do not require high-energy processing, and are thus; simple, sustainable and potentially economically viable. Further, this review questions whether, in many cases, shells can provide more inherent value being returned to the marine environment rather than being used in land-based applications.
Eggshell biocomposite
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Empresa de Ílhavo produz algas que dão superalimentos
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