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HHSBC Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme 

SMART Community Hackathon

Introduction of the Projects




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FireFibre, a next-generation fire retardant material, is made from food waste found in common households. Manufactured in solid and paint form, FireFibre can be used as solids or in adhesive form, allowing for versatile functionality and application.

Current commercial paints, applied to walls in all settings, contain volatile organic compounds, generating potentially carcinogenic fumes as their liquids evaporate. Many commercial paints, which are oil-based, are also flammable. (David and Niculescu) Our product is an affordable, effective and biodegradable alternative to current commercial-grade construction products.

FireFibre’s main ingredients, consisting of food waste products, are as follows:
Corn cob
After the consumption of corn ears, corn cobs are usually discarded. However, it has effective fire retardant properties due to its high amount of fibre, resulting in a high melting point above 1200°C. (Directive 98/8/EC Report on Biocidal Products)
Over 90% of Asians suffer from lactose intolerance, (“Why Lactose-Free Is Going to Be Massive in Asia | DSM Food & Beverage”) which has caused an exponential rise in the popularity of soybean products as a replacement for dairy. Consequently, this has led to an increase in the production of soybean residue okara, a byproduct in making soy products, which has been innovatively used as a binder for FireFibre due to polymerization when mixed with vinegar and its high amounts of dietary fibre.
Abalone shells
Ground abalone shells are also used. High in Chitin, Protein and Calcium Carbonate, (Aklog et al.) it contributes to increased effectiveness of fire retardancy as well as strength and structure in our product.

With landfills in HK expected to be full by the 2030s and food wastage at a rate of 3,353 tonnes per year, (“Food Wasted - Feeding Hong Kong”), FireFibre uses Environmental and ‘Green’ skills by repurposing materials that are typically seen as waste to fulfil the need for cost and function-effective fire retardant materials.

FireFibre, composed entirely of biomaterials, is safely biodegradable. In addition, its’ advantages to the community come from its variety, affordability, and overall effectiveness.
Reintegrating into dry soil after being in it for six days.
Produced in solid and adhesive form, FireFibre is versatile in colour and decoration. Additionally, its insulating abilities can be applied to and improve lab equipment like clamps,
6 times cheaper than market alternatives that lack fire retardant abilities
Function-effectiveness is likewise displayed in its high melting point of 226°C and its ability to withstand temperatures up to 1500°C, with trial experimentation proving its effectiveness as a heat barrier.

Overall, FireFibre is a sustainable material for the future.

Introduction Video:

Competition background

This Hackathon is a part of the HSBC Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme. This year, the Hackathon aims to encourage local secondary school students to support innovative district-based community initiatives, helping disadvantaged communities build resilience and become future-ready.


The programme also promotes green thinking and sustainable practices while fostering community growth, enhancing social inclusion, and building a sustainable and resource-efficient future. Additionally, Gerontech and cross-generational inclusion initiatives are welcome.

(Details of the "HSBC Hong Kong Community Partnership Programme: Press Here)

Join us to co-create a better society!

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If you have any other questions about the programme, feel free to contact us via / 2683 5900 (Ms. Ho).

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