The European Ceramic Society
YCN Newsletter : Women in Ceramics by Inês Vilarinho
Despite the preponderant role of women in society, only in 1975, the United Nations have started to celebrate the International Women's Day. This was a huge step not only for women’s rights but also to enlighten the society perception on the gender inequality that have always affected women throughout history.
Science, like other fields, is not an exception. Multiples examples exist whose women research work was either neglected or accredited to their male colleagues. The bias against acknowledging the achievements of Women in Science has been so remarkable that it even coined its own scientific term – the so-called Matilda effect. Fast-tracking to 2022, I think that society has evolved a lot, at least in the developed countries. Regardless, we still see, among researchers, gender inequalities in terms of career advancement, with women remaining a significant minority in most of the scientific fields. I think the International Women's Day should be a day to celebrate our achievements as women but also to reflect on the road ahead for full gender equality – so that we can move from global awareness to the actual transformation.
I am currently a postdoc researcher at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, Portugal, working in the sustainable and waste valorisation/management research group. Sustainability is becoming more and more important with new materials and processes being studied and developed. As a process engineer, my main R&D interests rely on the development of new and more sustainable materials and the efficient use of raw materials to produce goods in a cost effective and sustainable way.
At CICECO, I started to work with ceramic materials aiming to develop products that are more sustainable than the currently available commercial counterparts. By changing the material manufacturing process (i.e. temperature; alternative sintering such as electric field assisted - FLASH) and/or by exploiting the incorporation of industrial wastes, we are able to keep or improve the materials technical properties. Recently I’ve been working in the EggShellenCe project along with industrial partners (https://www.lifeeggshellence.eu/). The project is financed by the LIFE Programme 2014-2020 of the European Union for the Environment and Climate Action under the project number LIFE19 ENV/ES/000121. The aim of this project is to develop eco-ceramic wall tiles using bio-calcium carbonate from eggshell waste as a raw material for natural limestone replacement. Through experimental work (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceram.2022.100220), we observed that for the same granulometry, the use of bio-calcite promotes an increase of about 19% in the flexural strength of the material not affecting the other technical characteristics. Economic analysis showed that the use of eggshell waste has an additional cost of only ≈0.048 € per square meter of produced ceramic wall tiles and the eggshell waste producers can save up to 28.8 €/ton of generated waste. In summary, we proved that the substitution of limestone by eggshell waste is viable from both technical and economic points of view.
Happy International Women's Day for everyone,
Materials Engineering and Ceramic Department
University of Aveiro
Booth presented at the 17th international Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries.
Eggshell waste as a potential raw material for ceramic tiles .
1 - Vilarinho, I.; Filippi, E.; Seabra, M.P. Development of eco-ceramic wall tiles with bio-CaCO3 from eggshells waste, Open Ceramic (2022):100220. DOI:j.oceram.2022.100220.
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