2022 Feb/09

Research for Society

Port Construction Project with Sustainable Materials

The Marine Science Research Institute (IMEDMAR-UCV) of the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV) participates in Living Ports -a project based on the use of sustainable materials for the future construction of ecological ports- in collaboration with Rover Maritime and the ICITECH of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, thanks to the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI).

José Tena, director of IMEDMAR-UCV, has highlighted that “these materials are based on a concrete with a low carbon footprint as it contains recycled glass in its composition and its pieces have been designed with a special surface to conceived the settlement of flora and marine fauna.

‘The amount of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) fixed in the case of the classic concrete used in the construction of docks and dikes is approximately 17 g/m2; on the other hand, with these new materials with recycled glass, 30 g/m2 is set. These figures would be equivalent to 213 kg of TOC on a surface comparable to a football field’, he specified.

To test the effectiveness of the materials, experiments have been carried out, both under controlled laboratory conditions and with concrete infrastructure prototypes placed in the port of Puerto Sagunto, close to Valencia.

The scientific coordinator of IMEDMAR-UCV and member of the team, José Rafael García-March, pointed out that ‘the tests have shown that roughness plays a crucial role in the colonization of organisms, in favour of the settlement of marine species’.

UCV researchers have been very optimistic about the results obtained in the Living Ports project, since ‘they can considerably improve sustainability in Mediterranean ports, promoting an increase in the biodiversity and richness of the area, its preservation and improving fixation of carbon, the main gas that causes the greenhouse effect’.