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ALCORKE, a project to make corks with recycled corks

The Institut Català del Suro Foundation promotes a new circular economy project through the recycling of corks called corks ALCORKE. His will is that of give a second life to used corks by collecting them, crushing them and mixing them with glues to use them in tree trunks and playground pavements. The objective of this project, which is promoted thanks to a grant from theCatalan Waste Agency for the promotion of circular economy projects, it is to reduce the environmental impact and the benefits of the scocellos currently marketed by replacing non-renewable raw materials such as gravel or metals with a sustainable 100% material such as cork.

Challenge: improve the performance of the scoccellos and achieve sustainable stickers

The Institut Català del Suro Foundation has already carried out some laboratory tests to demonstrate the technical feasibility of cork granulated floors thanks to the collaboration of the Cassà de la Selva company Francisco Oller, which has allowed the use of its crushing plant of cork to be able to do these tests. Pilot tests have also been carried out outside in five escocells in the municipalities of Palafrugell and Cassà de la Selva, which have made it possible to verify that the granulate of recycled corks offers good aesthetic and porosity properties that make it very suitable for rocks

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(Photo: Cork Museum, Palafrugell)

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(Photo: Passeig de Vilaret, Cassà de la Selva) 

On the contrary, with these designs it has been possible to verify that the pavement does not keep its whole structure intact after an episode of rain and it has been possible to identify the problem in the glues used, which were initially the standard binder of 'gravel rocks.

The development of the ALCORKE project must make it possible to round off these designs through the incorporation of binders that are environmentally friendly and that offer the best technical performance.

With the impetus of this project, theICSuro opens the door to convert waste such as used corks into a raw material suitable for different construction solutions and that has some extraordinary properties.

 

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With the support of the Waste Agency of Catalonia

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