Ordinarily seen as a waste product, the husks of sunflower seeds could be used to make concrete, according to research out of Turkey. Not only are the husks a sustainable source of aggregate, it’s claimed that the resulting concrete is more resistant to cracking during post-freeze thaws.
However, the researchers report that with greater concentrations of husk, the concrete would only be suitable for use as an insulating material. Lower husk density results in a lightweight concrete that could conceivably be used for construction purposes, though the researchers suggest this should be restricted to agriculture buildings a single story tall.
Having a high calorific value sunflower seed husks can also be formed into pellets for use as a biomass fuel.
The research was carried out by Can Burak Sisman and Erhan Gezer, engineers at Turkey’s Namik Kemal University. The research appeared in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management.