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Open AccessArticle

Gypsum, Geopolymers, and Starch—Alternative Binders for Bio-Based Building Materials: A Review and Life-Cycle Assessment

1
Institute of Materials and Structures, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Riga Technical University, 6B Kipsalas Street, LV-1048 Riga, Latvia
2
Laboratory of Concrete Technologies, Institute of Building Materials, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Sauletekio al. 11, LT-10223 Vilnus, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5666; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145666
Received: 15 June 2020 / Revised: 9 July 2020 / Accepted: 9 July 2020 / Published: 14 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Construction and Architecture 2020)
To decrease the environmental impact of the construction industry, energy-efficient insulation materials with low embodied production energy are needed. Lime-hemp concrete is traditionally recognized as such a material; however, the drawbacks of this type of material are associated with low strength gain, high initial moisture content, and limited application. Therefore, this review article discusses alternatives to lime-hemp concrete that would achieve similar thermal properties with an equivalent or lower environmental impact. Binders such as gypsum, geopolymers, and starch are proposed as alternatives, due to their performance and low environmental impact, and available research is summarized and discussed in this paper. The summarized results show that low-density thermal insulation bio-composites with a density of 200–400 kg/m3 and thermal conductivity (λ) of 0.06–0.09 W/(m × K) can be obtained with gypsum and geopolymer binders. However, by using a starch binder it is possible to produce ecological building materials with a density of approximately 100 kg/m3 and thermal conductivity (λ) as low as 0.04 W/(m × K). In addition, a preliminary life cycle assessment was carried out to evaluate the environmental impact of reviewed bio-composites. The results indicate that such bio-composites have a low environmental impact, similar to lime-hemp concrete. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-composites; hemp; lime-hemp concrete; gypsum; starch; geopolymer; life cycle assessment bio-composites; hemp; lime-hemp concrete; gypsum; starch; geopolymer; life cycle assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bumanis, G.; Vitola, L.; Pundiene, I.; Sinka, M.; Bajare, D. Gypsum, Geopolymers, and Starch—Alternative Binders for Bio-Based Building Materials: A Review and Life-Cycle Assessment. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5666. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145666

AMA Style

Bumanis G, Vitola L, Pundiene I, Sinka M, Bajare D. Gypsum, Geopolymers, and Starch—Alternative Binders for Bio-Based Building Materials: A Review and Life-Cycle Assessment. Sustainability. 2020; 12(14):5666. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145666

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bumanis, Girts; Vitola, Laura; Pundiene, Ina; Sinka, Maris; Bajare, Diana. 2020. "Gypsum, Geopolymers, and Starch—Alternative Binders for Bio-Based Building Materials: A Review and Life-Cycle Assessment" Sustainability 12, no. 14: 5666. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145666

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