Days ago we shared an article about cigarette butts as one of the biggest pollutants on the planet. Now a possible solution has been discovered to reduce their impact, reuse them as insulators.
From the University of Extremadura, Spain, it has been shown that cigarette butts can be excellent as insulators and replace materials for construction.
Two of the professors who have investigated the properties of cigarette butts, assure that they could be the raw material to soundproof walls. Valentín Gómez, professor of Physics, has been working with them for a year to turn them into insulating material.
How did the idea come about
“We thought that if no one had tried it, it would be because it wouldn't work, butthe results are much better than we expected“Says Gómez.
They have obtained the financing to buy the instruments to measure the absorption of the cigarette butts and the results were amazing, very close to those of materials used in construction, such as rock wool and fiberglass. "We have absorptions close to 100%," he explains.
Butts as a pollutant
Being able to implement this discovery can be very important for the environment, since cigarette butts account for 30% of the world's garbage, ahead of containers, bottles and bags, because 65% of cigarettes end up on the pavement and in the oceans.
"A simple cigarette butt can contaminate thousands of liters of drinking water and it takes between 10 and 15 years until it ends up degrading", explains Julio Barea, spokesman forGreenpeace.
In Spain, for each plastic bottle 18 cigarette butts are thrown. With the project of the University of Extremadura, they would be completely recycled and, with the resulting material - along with some resin or glue - the walls could be insulated, as is done with construction materials.
In three years they hope to be able to test the results on a large scale. "We believe that we can demonstrate that they work well and what is lacking is that there are people interested in marketing this," says Gómez.
In this way, we could end the 4,000 million cigarettes that litter our planet every year.