We don’t manufacture these materials, we grow them. We grow them from agricultural byproducts and mycelium, a fungal network of threadlike cells. It’s like the “roots” of mushrooms. In 5 – 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium digests the agricultural byproducts, binding them into a beautiful structural material. The mycelium acts like a natural, self assembling glue.
This technology is a radical departure from traditional bioplastics. While feedstocks for bioplastics are typically food crops, we’re able to upcycle very low value waste products. The mycelium is able to grow on agricultural byproducts like plant stalks and seed husks. We can use a broad range of feedstocks to create diverse material properties, and tune the specifications for the application. We can tweak the density, strength, texture, appearance and more to deliver exactly the performance you need to protect your product.
We are applying this mycelium=glue technology to create next generation biocomposite materials using engineered textiles. In addition to the expanded plastic foams we have been replacing, we are now developing materials to replace dense materials like particle board. By growing structural core materials with mycelium, there is no need for toxic adhesives that contain formaldehyde.