|Typha (cattail) is in the reeds family and is a wild plant that appears in enduring groups in moist locations in the widest variety of soils. There are diverse typha species spread all over the world’s climate zones. The natural occurrences of this plant would be sufficient to satisfy ca. 10x the European natural insulation market.
The leaves can reach lengths of up to 4 meters. They consist of long, tear-resistant threads and a compressible sponge-like material not found in other plants used for insulation, such as flax, hemp, straw, reed, etc. This natural insulation foam makes cattail unique and predestines it as an optimal insulation material.
NAPORO has investigated this new renewable raw material for several years, whereas we had to do a lot of basic research and pioneering.
The natural properties of Typha are in several aspects fascinating and unique. The minor specific density of the raw material of 65 kg/m3 saves energy by producing the products and so improves the life cycle assessment. Also when it comes to the increasing prices for wood products a new and so far not used renewable raw material is very interesting. The rising prices for wood products of the last few years is mirrored in the index of wood fuel. The index consists of a "consumer basket" of relevant wood assortments like firewood, industrial wood and sawing by-products like wood chips. There are heavily increasing prices to monitor since the middle of 2005. After the hurricane Kyrill in 2007 the prices fell, but in the meantime they are rising again. On this understanding we should focus on the search for alternative raw materials.
Despite the fact, that Typha obviously works well as insulation material, it hasn´t been used as such yet. In the last years NAPORO was able to show the potential of this special material.
Typha is a fast-growing plant, which builds a lot of biomass - app. four times as much as wood. Due to this fact Typha - if you harvest and utilisize them - is able to contribute an above-average contingent to the reduction of greenhouse gases.