Interior elements

“Biofuel Waste is Bliss”

Designers: Agnė Kučerenkaitė, Marija Špokaitė

The "Biofuel Waste is Bliss" project is rethinking the use of waste ash from the biofuel industry. They want to create new environmentally friendly materials and architectural products such as glazed ceramic tiles and bricks. The Vilnius Thermal Power Plant generates around 460 tonnes of wood ash waste every month. Disposing of it is problematic. Millions of tonnes of bio-energy ash end up in landfills around the world. Incorporating up to 55% of waste ash into ceramic glazes and clay aims to reduce the need for newly mined materials and the CO₂ footprint of industry. To ensure environmental efficiency, the project developers of the "Biofuel Waste is Bliss" project are collaborating with environmental scientist Marija Špokaite. This includes a thorough review of the scientific literature and conducting experiments. The aim is to develop materials and architectural products that use waste optimally. Working closely with the scientist, the project authors avoid green brainwashing and justify their claims about sustainability, something that is often lacking in design projects. A holistic approach assesses the sustainability of the other ceramic materials used in the glazes (ceramic glazes are typically made up of 3-8 components). Ethical alternatives are suggested and toxic materials such as lead and barium are avoided. In addition, the project promoters are exploring ceramic innovations and promoting the use of renewable energy sources. This information encourages producers to adopt sustainable practices in their operations. For architects, interior designers and professionals in the construction industry, the project offers sustainable alternatives for building and interior materials. Production on a larger scale is a key aspect of the project, and currently qualified tile producers (Dutch and Portuguese) can produce almost any quantity on request. The biofuel waste researchers propose to focus on innovative, functional and aesthetically pleasing ceramic products, suitable for both interior and exterior use.