Not Just Corn on the Cob: Sustainable Tiling Made from Corn
Asia/ Terra/ Sustainability

CornWall Introduces Sustainable Corn Cob Tiling for Eco-Friendly Interiors

Corn Wall Introduces Sustainable Corn Cob Tiling for Eco Friendly Interiors Header Photo by Website/Dezeen

CornWall, the latest innovation from Circular Matters and StoneCycling, is revolutionising interior design with sustainable and biodegradable tiles made from corn cobs.

This eco-friendly alternative to ceramic wall tiles and plastic laminate is derived from renewable, biological sources, making it a game-changer in the materials industry.

Created at low temperatures using primarily solar power, the production of CornWall tiles emits less carbon dioxide than the corn plants absorbed during their growth. This ensures a minimal environmental impact.

In addition, Circular Matters and StoneCycling have designed the tiles with a mechanical fixing system, allowing for easy demounting, reuse, or return to the company for cleaning and recycling – extending their lifespan to get more uses out of them.

CornWall's technology originates from Circular Matters, a start-up born from Belgium's KU Leuven University. The team enhanced plant biopolymers, resulting in durable materials. To bring this technology to life, Circular Matters partnered with StoneCycling, a Dutch company known for its commitment to sustainable practices.

CornWall Introduces Sustainable Corn Cob Tiling for Eco-Friendly Interiors 1

The choice of corn as the primary material for CornWall is due to its abundance as one of the most grown crops globally. Corn cobs are often discarded after harvesting, left to rot in fields or burned as biomass. Both practices release stored carbon into the atmosphere. CornWall, on the other hand, locks away carbon until the tiles decompose at the end of their lifecycle, ensuring carbon neutrality.

The production process involves collecting, drying, and shredding the discarded cobs into biomass. This biomass is then combined with other agricultural waste, binders, and pigments, and pressed into plate materials at low temperatures. A thin water-resistant coating is applied as a final step. The result is a product that is more than 99% renewable and bio-based, with only 0.5% derived from non-bio-based pigments.

CornWall's eco-credentials extend to its biodegradability, meeting official standards. When buried in a field, the tiles disintegrate within a few months, with only the water-resistant coating remaining. While the coating itself is not biodegradable, its minuscule percentage does not affect the overall biodegradability of the product.

Circular Matters and StoneCycling aim to keep CornWall in use for as long as possible. They envision retail and hospitality chains, such as Starbucks, embracing the tiles as part of a closed-loop material reuse system. Additionally, the customizable colours and embossed patterns make CornWall an attractive option for businesses during the design stage, allowing them to align with their branding while prioritizing sustainability.

With its environmental benefits, ease of production, and potential for regional manufacturing, CornWall is poised to become the go-to material for eco-conscious interior design. The base range of six colors and two sizes, developed in collaboration with Studio Nina van Bart, is just the beginning. Stay tuned for additional textures that will further expand the possibilities of CornWall's sustainable aesthetics.

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