Analysis of low-cost building material for the MixAlco process
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The development of biofuels as an alternative fuel source highlights the MixAlco process as one method to convert organic waste into alcohol fuels. The pretreatment and fermentation of waste is integral to the process and represents a principal cost consideration due to the large structure needed to encapsulate the fermenting materials. This research developed papercrete as a potential construction material to reduce the cost of a structure. Papercrete is a mixture of paper, cement, and sand. The strengths, thermal conductivity, and other physical properties were compared with those of conventional building materials. This research identified acceptable property ranges necessary for using a structural papercrete facility and recorded compressive and tensile strengths that were too weak to build an economical structure. The identification of a hybrid papercrete-concrete structure produced results and economics within acceptable ranges. The papercrete-concrete alternative was tested on the same basis as the papercrete for structural and economic analysis, which provided acceptable results. The results indicate that a papercrete-concrete structure is a viable alternative structurally and economically within a range of sizes for the structure.
Titzman, L. Clinton (2006). Analysis of low-cost building material for the MixAlco process. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from