The production of expanded cork agglomerates uses only steam from super-heated water boilers, which can be fuelled by the grinding and finishing waste itself. No products other than cork are involved and even the agglomeration is based on natural cork resins, the product thus being 100% natural and ecological.
The manufacturing of cork products for the building industry produces an important waste product, cork powder. This powder is commonly burned to produce steam and/or energy which is used in the factories themselves, given the high energy content of this material.
The use of cork products is also very significant from an ecological point of view, since a renewable product is being used in long-term products, thereby increasing retention of carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, a cork oak from which cork is periodically extracted produces between 250% to 400% more cork than it would if the cork was not extracted, thereby also increasing CO2 retention.
Note: Excerpts from the article Cortiça, by Luís Gil, in the magazine Arquitectura e Vida, Engenharia e Vida, dossier Materiais de Construção – Guia de Utilização