Street tree arisings "can have value as insulation material"

Turning arisings from street tree pruning into insulation panels can contribute to a circular economy and help fund tree care, according to Italian researchers.

Image: Francesco de Comité (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Francesco de Comité (CC BY 2.0)

The team from the University of Perugia trialled three tile formats with different densities made from shredded "wood wool", water and PVA glue, before applying a model to simulate their insulation properties of a roof.

Comparing these with two commercial insulation materials made from timber residues and vegetable waste fibres, they found they had slightly lower thermal performance.

However, "in an overall sustainability evaluation it seems to be very promising because it is an enhancement of a waste material, while most of the commercial products use dedicated crops", they point out.

"The results show the Tilia sp.’s pruning waste could be a good source material to create panels for thermal insulation," they conclude.

They added: "To find a suitable use for the maintenance processes outcomes can be the key to unlock those monetary resources indispensable for an adequate care taking approach to the urban arboreal patrimony, to invest on in personnel, techniques and equipment."

The results are published in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

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