A new surfacing alternative to tarmac has been launched made with plant seeds used to treat constipation.
The new material uses seed husks from the desert plant Psyllium (pictured) to form an alternative to tar-bound macadam for surfacing paths, cycleways and hard standing areas.
The powdered husks are mixed with water to form a gel that binds aggregate and produces a hard-wearing surface.
The binder was developed in America under the Stabilizer brand and the licence for marketing it in the UK has been
granted to Stabilizer UK Limited – a new division set up by North Wales based environmental and landscape engineers
Richards, Moorehead & Laing (RML).
RML managing director Ivor Richards said: “Psyllium seed husks have remarkable properties as an engineering
material and have been used for more than 20 years in more than 200,000 projects worldwide.
“Aggregate bound with Stabilizer is competitive on cost with macadam, has far superior environmental credentials and out-performs it in a wide range of non-highway applications, particularly as a result of its ease of application, cleanliness and free draining nature.
“We have seen excellent results using it with a variety of aggregates from dust to 6mm and are working towards BBA
(British Board of Agrément) certification. We are also looking at the possibility of using it with slate waste.”
When watered, it forms a gel and hardens in three days, when it can be used for pedestrian, cycle and light vehicle traffic.
As an added bonus, contractors’ machinery and tools do not need cleaning after use.