IIT Indore develops natural foaming agent from cow dung, to be used for construction purposes

This eco-friendly product to the construction material will not only reduce the cost of constructing houses but will also keep the buildings cool in summer and warm in winter.
IIT Indore develops natural foaming agent from cow dung, to be used for construction purposes

Indore | Indian Institute of Technology Indore has developed the first-of-its-kind cow dung-based natural foaming agent which will act as thermal insulation when mixed in modern construction material like concrete, making it lighter, officials said on Tuesday.

This foaming agent- GOBAiR- is the first such product in the country, they said.

Adding this eco-friendly product to the construction material will not only reduce the cost of constructing houses but will also keep the buildings cool in summer and warm in winter, according to officials.

The innovative product is completely natural and much more environmentally and cost-friendly than the chemical-based foaming agents available in the market.

GOBAiR has been developed by Professor Sandeep Chaudhary and his PhD student Sanchit Gupta.

"We were working on ways and means to generate higher incomes from cow dung and support gaushalas (cowsheds) in managing stray cattle. This is how GOBAiR came into existence," Professor Chaudhary said.

He claimed GOBAiR enables lightweight concrete, which can be produced at about 24% lower cost than commercially used building materials.

"The product is showing better economics and properties than red clay bricks and fly ash bricks available in the market. If the profits are translated to monetary value, then the income from wet cow dung can increase from the current value of less than Rs 1 to over Rs 4 per kilogram," as per a release issued by the IIT-Indore.

GOBAiR can be added in concrete, bricks, tiles and blocks, to produce a wide range of sustainable building materials.

Construction using GOBAiR will be much more environmentally friendly and will be helpful in achieving more points in green building ratings, it said.

The team is presently working on developing a specifications table that the construction industry can use as a ready reference for adding GOBAiR in concrete.

The team is also in touch with IGBC for the Green Product Certification of building products made from GOBAir. A patent has already been filed for this innovative technology, the release added.

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