A Swiss company has developed effective insulation made out of the grass.
Effective home insulation is one way that households can reduce their energy consumption, something that is especially important in the current energy crisis. However, traditional insulation materials are far from perfect, leading innovators to search for alternatives. Among the most notable recent breakthroughs in sustainable insulation materials is Swiss-made Gramitherm. The company behind the new material has developed a unique production process that transforms grass into highly effective insulation.
Gramitherm sources its raw material from local farmers, and the company is committed to using all parts of the plant, including the juice. Fibres are extracted from the grass and dried before being opened and thermobonded into semi-rigid boards – a product that is light, strong, and environmentally friendly. These insulation boards are suitable for a variety of applications, and the digestible materials leftover from the production process are used for animal food and fertiliser.
The company chose grass as a raw material as it is a highly efficient thermal insulator with an estimated lifetime of at least 50 years. The panels are also an efficient means of storing the carbon dioxide captured by the grass during its lifetime. In fact, Gramitherm’s insulation captures 1.5 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogramme of product.
The company claims that its manufacturing process uses only 75 per cent of the energy and less than 70 per cent of the water it takes to manufacture glass wool insulation. One acre of grass can yield 200 metres cubed of Gramithem, enough to insulate seven family houses. And if 1,000 acres of land were used to grow Gramithem, it would supply 5 per cent of Switzerland’s insulation market according to Eco Home. That is quite awesome if it can be use worldwide.