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Guest aross

The Bone Project

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Guest aross

Hi Folks,

 

Around 6 months ago I created a post here entitled ‘Sustainable Ivory’. At the time I was searching for ways to use waste cow bones, which are currently being incinerated. Thanks to everyone who gave their input.

 

I’d now like to share with you the conclusions to the project. Below is an introduction for those who aren’t familiar with the previous post, and overviews of the final scenarios.

 

 

theboneproject

 

In the beginning of my final year I was exploring agricultural by-products. The idea was to give farmers the ability, not only to farm food, but also to farm products. I desired to create some form of local production, which would be beneficial to both the environment, and the economy.

 

This research led me to an abattoir where I encountered a strange, yet wonderful, opportunity to use waste cow bones.

 

Bone: Waste Problem

 

Abattoirs would previously get paid for their leftover bovine bones. However due to the feed ban imposed during the BSE crisis, this is no longer the case. An abattoir in Inverurie has to pay £1600 every day to have their bones incinerated. Around 3 million tonnes of bones are incinerated every year in Europe, despite the majority of them being classified as ‘fit for human consumption’. This disposal method has a detrimental effect on both the environment, and Britain’s rural economy.

 

The bone project was all about discovering ways to use this waste material. Research was divided between three different areas: perception, properties and fabrication.

 

Perception: Could bone be made as acceptable as red meat or leather?

 

Properties: Does bone possess any useful; structural, chemical or electrical properties?

 

Fabrication: How are bones currently disposed of? Could they be used for high volume applications?

 

It soon became apparent that bone was not immediately suitable for mass product design. Further work and research would be required to integrate it fully into society. Therefore a range of scenarios were created, and sources of further funding were identified. As a collection they demonstrate how bone could become a mainstream material for product applications.

 

 

 

post-17592-1214230781.jpg

 

1.0 BoneIvory

 

In this scenario, arts funding will be utilized to change the way bone is perceived; to make it desirable and valuable. This can be achieved through creating bespoke objects which present bone as a ‘sustainable ivory’. The goal is to make bone as acceptable as leather.

 

 

 

post-17592-1214230770.jpg

 

2.0 BoneLAB

 

Bone possesses unique chemical properties. Existing research proposes that ground bone can be used to remediate soil contaminated with heavy metals. However, it should be possible to use whole bone to absorb the toxins released by electronic products, and batteries, upon their disposal.

 

 

 

post-17592-1214230763.jpg

 

3.0 BoneEngineer

 

This scenario explores two high volume applications for bone:

 

Bone: Laminate

Laminating sections of whole bone, to form large structural panels or tiles. This application would rely on bone becoming socially acceptable and desirable.

 

Bone: Smart Material

Using crushed bone to make a new composite material. This would utilize the remediation properties of bone explored in BoneLAB, to create housings for toxic electronic products.

 

post-17592-1214230789.jpg

 

 

I am currently putting together a research proposal to implement some of the scenarios above.

 

More information on the project, and details of the research and development behind it, can be found at: www.theboneproject.co.uk.

 

Also, if you would like to see the project in person, I am exhibiting at New Designers in London between the 10th and 13th of July

 

Thanks, Andrew.

 

 

post-17592-1214230796.jpg

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Guest maumau

My admiration goes out to you for going to a place I wouldn't have imagined, Andrew. I wouldn't have thought this kind of recycling was feasable, altough like you state, you need to demonstrate if bone will be accepted as leather and red meat.

 

Still, it is a very impressive scearnio you present us here, and the text you provide leaves almost no doubt of the potential of this. For my part, I am so driven to new products made from new materials, that unfortunately, recycling is not a concept that I am very active with.

 

Please keep us informed.

 

PS, could you please point me to your first post, "Sustainable Ivory" please?

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Guest Lilith

This project is very interesting and original , didnt have time to go into details but i can see you have done a good research and i like these ideas more than your previous one. Layouts look really cool , so you did actually make the above models out of bone then???

great work ! :clapping:

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Guest aross

Maumau: thanks for your kind words - the original post can be found here: Sustainable Ivory These products were mocked up as part of my research, to see how people would respond to objects made from whole bone.

 

Lilith: I'm glad you like the outcome - all the models were made from bone, except for the casing. I made some attempts at sintering ground bone, however they were not successful enough to be used. Also, I should point out that four of the jewellery pieces, in the boneIvory image, were made by jewellery students at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. It was part of an exercise to see how practitioners, within the arts and crafts, would respond to the material. You can see who made what on the bone project website - look under execution>the bone workshop

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i have chance to follow this design and research process. In my opinion you make a perfect job from research to the products. They are really cool and it is very cheap. :) Because it is origin from the material , it is the best project i have ever seen in this site...

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Guest woli

Hey there,

 

I think this is great! I'm looking for a really unique design research project for my final year studying and something like this is exactly that, very original and great solutions presented! Not trying to go off my opinions too much but I think society as a whole would most likely go for it. ''Bone Camera'' wouldnt market well but as soon as you chuck 'sustainable' in there it would suddenly become clear and make sense in the consumer's head, from my experience. For the greater good and all that. You'd have to watch out for vegans I'd imagine but then again, as the project stated, we're talking by-products.. thats putting the waste to good use rather than slaughtering for the sole purpose of creating product casings etc.

 

I'll see you on the 13th at new designers.

 

Oli

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Guest Shamoo

I think detailed social and cultural research would need to be carried out, this could be very offensive to some cultures, i dont think this would go down very well in India as many people are vegetarians there and the cow is know to be very sacred. I am not slating the design or idea just pointing something out to help you on your way, good luck with the future!

SS

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Guest maumau
Maumau: thanks for your kind words - the original post can be found here: Sustainable Ivory These products were mocked up as part of my research, to see how people would respond to objects made from whole bone.

 

thanx mate. i just saw the wii bone (wee bone, hehehehe) and well... the execution of the mock ups is quite good.

 

i'm dying to know the outcome of your project. it's SO radical (this is not recycled paper!!)! i've been already thinking about what Shamoo just posted, and then i wondered if India would have ultra strict gvmt mandates that would prevent you to sell bone stuff there, OR if it would "just" be a cultural issue (don't mean to downplay that part, just trying to say that you would be fighting just ONE, not two problems).

 

way to go!

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Guest aross
I think detailed social and cultural research would need to be carried out, this could be very offensive to some cultures, i dont think this would go down very well in India as many people are vegetarians there and the cow is know to be very sacred. I am not slating the design or idea just pointing something out to help you on your way, good luck with the future!

SS

 

 

It’s a good point about India. The relatively limited cultural research carried out so far has really only been focused around my local area and some web communities. Vegetarians are certainly interesting - many agree with the principle of reusing the material, but are still uncomfortable with it.

 

Some cultures are more open to the re-use of bones and animal parts than others. For example, in Scandinavia it is fairly common for jewelers to use found bones in their work, perhaps due to historic reasons, or their keen awareness of sustainability. Britain is further behind in its acceptance of materials of this nature. I could imagine India would be a tough nut! I think it would be really important to play on the association with leather, to help align the material with something which is already accepted.

 

It's definitely something worth exploring further. Thanks for this. I appreciate anyone highlighting areas for further investigation.

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Guest aross
Hey there,

 

I think this is great! I'm looking for a really unique design research project for my final year studying and something like this is exactly that, very original and great solutions presented...

 

Oli

 

Hey Oli,

There are still some aspects of the material, such as new applications for its soil fertility benefits, that have not bee fully explored. If you wanted to, I would be happy for you to build upon\use the existing research, and devise your own ways to use bone. It would be great to get more designers involved and thinking about this problem. I would help you where I could.

 

See you at New Designers. Andy

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Guest John Fitzsimmons

my wife has made jewlery from cow bones, sliced, polished and waxed, it is a very ivory like material, very attractive. When used as a soil conditioner is there any issues with mad cow tansfer? I have read about the benefit of adding charcoal to soil where is amplifies the effects of fertilizer and retains water, I think that artical was in Scientific American a year or so ago. Does it have any fuel value at all? If it does maybe it can be added to fuel pellets. How about going into lime kilns as a feed stock? that would maybe be a nuetral value,

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Guest aross
my wife has made jewlery from cow bones, sliced, polished and waxed, it is a very ivory like material, very attractive. When used as a soil conditioner is there any issues with mad cow tansfer? I have read about the benefit of adding charcoal to soil where is amplifies the effects of fertilizer and retains water, I think that artical was in Scientific American a year or so ago. Does it have any fuel value at all? If it does maybe it can be added to fuel pellets. How about going into lime kilns as a feed stock? that would maybe be a nuetral value,

 

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been away on holiday. Cow bone is perfectly safe to use provided it does not come into contact from the spinal column/head. They are still able to make bonemeal for soils, so as far as I am aware there are no risks of BSE transfer.

 

In terms of fuel, bone will provide about a third of the energy of coal when burnt. When they incinerate the waste bones from the abattoir it is converted into electricity. Good idea for the fuel pellets - sounds feasible, although bone generates a terrible odor when burnt.

 

Cheers

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