Students from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) created a material composed of palm tree fibers obtained from the plant waste, a press release informs. The resulting material has a double advantage. On the one hand, treating and reusing palm tree waste. On the other hand, finding a sustainable and biodegradable material (similar to carbon fiber or glass).

Why we write about this topic:

Palm tree residue can be a sustainable alternative to carbon and glass fiber, reliable – but polluting – materials.

From surfing boards to uses in the automotive sector, the material can have plenty of applications. Companies and organizations expressed to the UPV and to the students themselves their interest in developing this technology further.

The ‘Fiberpalm’ team is multidisciplinary including mechanical engineering students (Manel Cabanes, Álvaro Gallego and Mario Salido), business administration and management ones (Ángeles Vendrell and Ariadna Sánchez), and a chemical engineering student (Julián Pérez). The project received support and advice from IDEAS UPV, the body that promotes entrepreneurial initiatives at the UPV.

Solving a social and environmental problem

According to the students, over 100 tons of palm residues are generated monthly on average in the south of the province of Alicante. Most of them are burned – generating large amounts of CO2 – and a small part is used for compost. Fiberpalm aims to use this raw material, creating a compostable product.

The goal is to produce a similar material to carbon fiber, to replace objects such as plastic trays or car dashboards. This research is also scalable to other natural products.

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