Waste-Wood Cellulose Soil Binders for Construction Site Erosion Control

Period of Performance: 01/01/2001 - 12/31/2001

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Construction projects generate 10 to 20 times more erosion per acre compared to neighboring agricultural activities. Wind erosion and production of dust is considerable at large construction sites, and water erosion clogs local sewers and silts local streams and rivers. Construction of buildings generates large quantities of waste wood which burdens landfills. It is proposed to convert waste construction wood into cellulose soil binders for erosion control-thus ameliorating two major problems at construction sites. Waste-wood would be ground in chippers and placed in large, water-filled, plastic vats. Pre-industrial paper-making techniques would be adapted in which microorganisms partially decompose and unravel plant fibers. Lime (CaO), the major constituent of cement, would be added to form calcium hydroxide providing hydroxide ions (OH) for final pulping of the wood. Slurries of pulp would be sprayed onto soils with existing hydraulic equipment. Adhesive properties of the tacky paper pulp fiber would bind soil particles together and inhibit erosion. Continuous mats of protective paper would form oversoil as the pulp dries. Because paper pulp for soil erosion control need not be of the quality necessary for printing, bleaches, sulfites, and other chemicals used in industrial paper-making to remove lignin and other colored substances is eliminated.