Senior Design: “Hopcrete” Could Put Agricultural Waste to Use

Properties of concrete depend completely on what additives a user mixes in. Most building projects use a variety of rocks, but previous work suggests renewable resources, including fibers might replace non-renewable rocks. Washington state grows the most hops in the country and after harvest, growers generally burn the vines. Could that waste product be used in concrete?

Loren Colpo, Madison Jurewicz and Zackary Schroder have studied this issue since last fall. After gathering a truckload of post-harvest waste, they dried and processed the vines to experiment with. As of the start of March, their first batch of concrete cylinders and blocks were almost ready for testing. They will present their results on Design Expo Day, May 2 at Hemmingson. The event is open to the public from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Madison Jurewicz weighs a batch of hop vine fibers after drying in the Civil Engineering Lab.

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