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Repurposing Drywall?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Motomom34, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    We have a few threads on here that call for the use of perlite and Vermiculite. I do not have either. Almost bought some once but then thought there has to be an alternative. If society breaks down, I am not going to go loot Home Depot & garden centers for it so I can amend my soil and make a tandoor oven, so I figured here has to be something else. In my research I came across the use of drywall & gypsum board. Sounds odd and sounds toxic but am looking for monkey 2 cents on the use of.

    This is what I have read/learned:

    - Drywall is a product used as finishing mainly for interiors of buildings. Drywall may also be called gypsum board or plasterboard.
    - Gypsum is a mineral that is composed of calcium sulphate.
    - There is a debate on whether crushed drywall should be repurposed for gardening or not.
    - Researchers also conclude that wallboard scrap is at least equivalent in effectiveness with commercial gypsum fertilizer and did not negatively affect crop growth and yield. Often recycled drywall works better than mined gypsum since minor and trace elements have been added as strengthening agents to the drywall board.
    - Ground scrap drywall could be used as a source of agricultural nutrients as well as a soil amendment, with rates of up to 10-25 tons of drywall per acre, or the equivalent of the scrap from 10-25 average new home construction projects. Such applications could be repeated every 10 years or more frequently, especially if lower application rates are used. Studies have shown that grain yield and test results were not significantly related to application rates, although there was a slight positive trend.
    - Toxins: Older drywall may contain arsenic, the paint & coatings applied to dry wall are toxic. Type X board has glass fibers in the core for enhanced fire performance. (Unsure if the glass fibers are toxic but assuming)

    Major Benefits Of Gypsum
    The Role Of Gypsum In Agriculture: 5 Key Benefits You Should Know | CropLife

    Agriculture is starting to experiment using old drywall so the question is smart or toxic?

    Other resources read-


    Read more: Difference Between Gypsum and Drywall | Difference Between | Gypsum vs Drywall Difference Between Gypsum and Drywall
    tacmotusn, marlas1too and Ganado like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Gotta wonder if the painted side gets peeled off before grinding --
    Motomom34 and sec_monkey like this.
  3. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Or what effect green board might have.

    Then again, lead based paints were still used way into drywall days.
    chelloveck, Motomom34 and sec_monkey like this.
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Gypsum is found in rock, and is heavier than water, though in powder form it will float due to surface tension.
    If it were crushed to pebble sized, (to sink) and separate it from the paper face, you should be able to float the paper and paint off in an open tank. Skim off everything that floats. Pure gypsum is white in color.
    Motomom34 and sec_monkey like this.
  5. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    Chinese drywall is hazmat, steer clear.
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Gypsum is good for gardens. You can buy it on Amazon. At first it sounded like a great idea but the more I read it seems like there is a lot of unknowns. Then to read that they are using it on crop fields caused me alarm.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  7. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    It's all is hazmat,
    Toxins plus , as I was told.
    the Chems to bind plus. Worker's didn't last long in the 60-70's days before breathers .
    Just my point . thats all .
    Im still wearing clad 6 vesting . poof at anytime .
    sec_monkey and Motomom34 like this.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I've done a lot of drywall work, covered with fine dust from head to foot and every crevice. I used to work for a general contractor, I cut, hang, haul, bed, mud, sand, finish, and paint. I have never needed more than a simple filter mask while sanding, and I have had no bad health effects from drywall. (Other than a sore back from the weight ). Drywall is pretty tame and boring stuff.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I have friends who work in a factory making drywall. It's on the same property as a nuclear power plant and receives waste water as well as fluff/ash to go inside the gypsum. They use some pretty harsh chemicals to make it froth so it is airy before baking. After it is baked and totally dry, I imagine it's not as toxic. Still, I would use caution, especially with the UL fire resistant board. I wouldn't personally use it in my garden, since it probably has a significant half-life.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  10. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    you can peel the paper and dry it in the oven then use it as a desiccant...
    oldawg and Brokor like this.
  11. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

  12. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Calcium sulfate (CaSO4), better known commercially as Drierite®, is an inexpensive alternative available in suitable packaging forms. Calcium sulfate is created by the controlled dehydration of gypsum, acting as a general-purpose desiccant geared mainly toward laboratory use. It is chemically stable, non-disintegrating, nontoxic, non-corrosive, and does not release its adsorbed water when exposed to higher ambient temperatures.

    How to Make Homemade Desiccant
    Motomom34 and kellory like this.
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