Materials from renewable resources – great future or just a modern trend? Are they really sustainable?

B. Kasal
Fraunhofer WKI Braunschweig Germany,

Keywords: plant based materials, natural fibers, natural-fiber composites


During the last decade our environmental awareness has increased significantly and sustainability has become a frequently used term. Materials from renewable resources have become synonyms for sustainable solutions. The only truly renewable resources are plants that use photosynthesis to produce biomass. The capacity of the planet to produce biomass is not unlimited and is severely compromised by human activity. Using renewable resources to produce various materials, including building materials, does not automatically mean that these processes are sustainable or the products recyclable. This presentation will focus on global challenges with respect to the sustainability of using lignocellulosic natural resources in the production and use of materials with focus on building materials.