review, rehash, rethink and then onward
I am taking my own advice.
In this pandemic moment, there’s plenty to learn from standing still.
The pandemic is an opportunity to review, rethink, rehash.
I have followed the development of Mycelium in Industry for the last few years and thought it would be good to stand back and review ………..
In this post:
Growing a circular economy with fungal biotechnology: a white paper
Rethinking….MycoComposite Construction is par with WOOD?
Rethinking….Growing Myceliated Facades
Some related projects: 3-D printing, research, Fungar.eu , video
…Myco-Composite Suppliers and other posts listed at the bottom
above image: https://thegrowingpavilion.com/
The Framework for my rehash comes from:
The EUROFUNG Consortium
The EUROFUNG network, founded in 1995, represents a European virtual centre expertise with globally recognised experts and long-term industry/academia collaborations in the field of white biotechnology. It has grown into a foundation with the aim to explore and enlarge the possibilities of filamentous fungi as cell factories.
the 2nd Think Tank meeting held by the EUROFUNG consortium Oct. 2019
The term ‘biotechnology’ was coined by the Hungarian Karl Ereky in 1919, the same year that Pfizer became the first company to commercialise a product manufactured by the controlled fermentation of a mould. The product Pfizer made was citric acid for commercial use as a flavouring agent, acidifier and chelating agent in food, beverages, and the pharma and chemical industries. It was produced biotechnologically with the mould Aspergillus niger, and 100 years later, citric acid is still produced with this filamentous fungus and has formed a fast growing multibillion Euro market for convenience foods and beverages. Many organic acids, enzymes, life-saving antibiotics and drugs are produced by filamentous fungi, and a lot of our foods and beverages would not exist at all without their fermentative capacities. It is undisputed that filamentous fungal-based biotechnology is of pivotal importance to our daily lives. …
… A 100 years after the birth of fungal biotechnology, this platform technology is undergoing a renaissance by providing sustainable solutions for diverse industries and markets. In the following, we will summarize current and anticipated products made from moulds and mushrooms and related new avenues of research. We will also highlight recommendations discussed during the EUROFUNG 2nd Think Tank consortium for ways to drive innovation in this renaissance through strategic and infrastructural measures for basic and applied science on filamentous fungi.
FROM THE SECTION:
The lifestyle of filamentous fungi—moulds and mushrooms
The life of a filamentous fungus usually starts with a spore, which has a diameter of only a few microns (µm). The spore starts to swell in a humid and nutrient-rich environment and germinates. A germ tube is formed that elongates to eventually form a thread-like, filamentous cell, called a hypha. After the hypha grows and elongates for some time, it forms a network of interconnected hyphal threads called a mycelium. When nutrients become limited in the substrate within which the mycelium lives, the mycelium starts to explore the air and space in order to form reproductive structures. …
… Filamentous fungi are both invisible and visible. The diameter of fungal hyphae range from 2 to 10 µm, and a fungal mycelium consists of a network of mm- to cm-long hypha. The mycelia of mushroom-forming fungi can colonise large surface areas, as illustrated by an individual of the honey mushroom Armillaria bulbosa (common name honey mushroom in English and Hallimasch in German) which has colonised > 1000 hectares of forest soil, making it the largest and oldest organism on Earth. Mycelia of mushroom-forming fungi can also be grown on various by-products and waste streams from forestry and agriculture. The efficiency of colonisation and biomass formation is determined by the composition and physical properties of the substrate, the environmental growth conditions (temperature, humidity and pH) and the genetic make-up of the fungus. …
… Notably, the predicted gene set for plant polysaccharide-degrading enzymes in these fungi is between 100 and 250, whereas only 30 can be found in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The success of S. cerevisiae, which cannot grow on plant polymeric substances, or the bacterium Escherichia coli as platform organisms to produce biofuel (ethanol), jet fuel (terpenoids), fine and commodity chemicals is only guaranteed by the filamentous fungal cell factories mentioned above that provide S. cerevisiae and E. coli with simple carbon sources during the fermentation process. Hence, filamentous fungal cell factories play a central role in the sustainable production of biofuels and chemicals.
LIGNIN History From Wikipedia
Lignin was first mentioned in 1813 by the Swiss botanist A. P. de Candolle, who described it as a fibrous, tasteless material, insoluble in water and alcohol but soluble in weak alkaline solutions, and which can be precipitated from solution using acid. He named the substance “lignine”, which is derived from the Latin word lignum, meaning wood. It is one of the most abundant organic polymers on Earth, exceeded only by cellulose. Lignin constitutes 30% of non-fossil organic carbon and 20 to 35% of the dry mass of wood. The Carboniferous Period (geology) was in part defined by the evolution of lignin.
FROM THE SECTION:
Filamentous fungi and a wood-based bio-economy
Lignin is the most underutilised of all wood polymers due to its complex structure and difficulties in processing. It forms an amorphous network of phenyl propane units coupled to hemicellulose via ester linkages. It is the second most abundant natural material on Earth after cellulose. The worldwide production of lignin is approximately 100 million tons annually. One of the main challenges of lignin valorisation lies in its diverse structure and poor solubility. Most of the lignin obtained (Kraft lignin/black liquor) is incinerated directly in the pulping plants to recover energy. Only about 2% of the technical lignin globally available (~ 5 million tons) is currently utilised. Basidiomycetes are unique in their vast abilities to modify and/or mineralise lignin, and these organisms should play a central role in developing the utility of this highly promising polyphenol. The potential of lignin as a material reservoir will be achieved through much more rigorous characterisation of the structure/function predictability achieved through these fungal transformations.
If there is a theory that MycoComposites are on par with WOOD…………
On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 1:12 PM Klarenbeek – Dros, designers of the unusual <[email protected]> wrote:
This pavilion, is outdoor, and will move to a new outdoor location for the coming two years.
In the Netherlands (especially in Zaandam where our studio is based), we have a long history in wooden houses. As mycelium can be comparable to cork and wood, it’s possible, with or without coating, though to prevent it for the long term, a bio-coating is advisory (such as with wooden houses).
All the best, Eric
Studio Klarenbeek ∞ Dros – Designers of the unusual
Oostzijde 355, 1508 EP, Zaandam, The Netherlandstel:
[email protected] – www.ericklarenbeek.com
September 2020 – … Built by Katerra, a construction company based in Menlo Park, Calif., Catalyst is the newest of 384 large “mass timber” buildings in the United States. The first was built in Montana in 2011, and according to industry figures, 500 more are under construction or planned. …
… When Katerra was founded in 2015, only 10 large buildings in the United States were constructed from cross-laminated timber panels. But demand for the products is so strong that the number of construction projects could double annually and reach more than 24,000 by 2034, according to a report released this year by the Forest Business Network, an industry trade group.
Recently the top-ranked architecture and engineering firm in the U.S., Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and researchers from Oregon State University (OSU), launched a research project investigating the performance characteristics of a hybrid wood and concrete structural floor system that may offer owners, developers, architects and builders with a traditional flat plate construction alternative. [can we get rid of the cement?]
- DESIGN TOOLAmerican Wood Council: Design of Wood Frame Structures for Permanence
- DESIGN TOOLWoodWorks: Wood-Frame Schools— Durability Techniques for Interior High Traffic and Moisture Areas
- DESIGN TOOLWoodWorks: Durability and Service Life
- DESIGN TOOLUSDA: Build Green: Wood Can Last for Centuries
- DESIGN TOOLAmerican Wood Council: 2018 National Design Specification for Wood Construction
Alar Just, senior researcher at RISE who took part in the project and who is an expert on fire and fire resistance in timber structures, points out that the wood should preferably be mixed with other building materials to resist fire better and that the number of naked wooden surfaces should be as few as possible.
2019- … “It is much more work,” Marc-André Roy, president of Sotramont, a Montreal-based developer, said in an interview. “We’re doing something new. It took more energy and man hours to get through everything … it’s more complicated.”
The wood used for Arbora is cross-laminated timber (CLT) a product made by gluing wood panels in an angled manner that provides stability and force. The panels are said to be as strong as concrete but five times lighter, making them ideal for floors and load-bearing walls.
“This transition is feasible under two conditions: That the harvested forests are sustainably managed, and that the carbon that is transferred from forests into the cities and stored in the buildings is preserved in some form after demolition of buildings,” says Galina Churkina, an environmental scientist at Yale University. That is, we can’t just go chopping down forests willy-nilly, and we can’t just burn the buildings after we tear them down—that’d just put the carbon right back into the atmosphere. Instead, that wood needs to be recycled, for instance as floorboards in new homes.
FROM THE SECTION:
Filamentous fungi to mitigate plastic pollution
Current plasticizers are used, among other things, to improve the workability of concrete, the construction material most used in the world. Plasticizers enable the use of less water by keeping the same viscosity of the concrete, thereby producing a highly workable material that hardens into a strong final product. Plasticizers are typically not covalently bound to the polymers, which, over time, may lead to environmental contamination via leaching. A bio-based alternative to the current fossil-based concrete plasticisers would be lignin functionalized to a higher solubility by the action of fungal or bacterial laccases or other oxidative enzymes.
FROM THE SECTION:
Filamentous fungi as biomaterials
Fungi thrive by decomposing and consuming dead plants by breaking down the plant’s cellulose, lignin and other sugars, then rearranging these molecules into their own biomass to grow. Their cell wall is secured by chains of chitin and glucans, which, like cellulose and keratin, are naturally forming polymers found in the toughest of organic tissues. Chitin is the same ingredient that creates the durable and flexible exoskeletons of insects and shellfish. During the colonisation of substrates, hyphae bind the organic particles together, while degrading them simultaneously. A composite material is obtained, consisting of a bulk of organic substrate bound together by the hyphal network, by inactivating the fungus before the substrate is degraded (e.g. by drying or by heat inactivation). Pure fungal materials are obtained by complete degradation of the substrate or removing the fungal skin from the substrate. Both pure and composite mycelium can be used for different applications. ….
…. Notably, mushroom-based materials can absorb and dissipate a variety of energetic forces, ranging from sounds to seismic waves to ballistics. They are naturally flame retardant, good thermal insulators and can be grown as flexible or rigid as one desires. While incredibly strong and durable, these materials can readily be broken down into constituent minerals and dispersed easily back into the world. Materials grown through a process of fermentation and decomposition require far less energy, water and other resources than conventional manufacturing.
August 2020 – The way Cleveland architect Christopher Maurer sees it there has to be a better way to dispose of construction and demolition (C&D) waste than just throwing it into a hole in the ground and his vision has led to a hook up with NASA and MIT.
Maurer, principal architect at Redhouse Studio is now working to scale up the Biocycler, a mobile technology which grinds construction waste and then processes it into blocks using mycelium fungi and calcite-producing microbes as the cement to bind it into a durable and formed material.
It’s one of three projects which are gaining traction for his team which includes a process to grow mushrooms in the poorest part of Namibia and an ambitious scheme to grow construction materials biologically “in a bag” on Mars for humans to later harvest and use.
The Biocycler, however, is the project concept closest to home since C&D waste and the perilous future of landfill sites are pressing problems across major North American cities.
Another important research project that Christopher Maurer is involved with from 2019… is Growing Myceliated Facades.
As mentioned in the EUROFUNG report:
The fungal kingdom is huge: six million species are estimated to exist on Earth, of which only a small proportion is known. Most are saprophytes and feed on dead plants and animals, and only a few dozen are exploited in biotechnology as cell factories. Leveraging their metabolic capacities and flexibilities will be key to achieving the circular economy…
Manufacturing and exposing experimental panels in a facade setting
May 2020 – …The research presented in this paper focuses on two aspects: finding a way to produce large myceliated panels outside of a microbiology laboratory and testing the outdoor durability of these panels in an outdoor façade setting. For the first part, three aspects were experimented with: substrate mixes, sterilization/pasteurization method and growth environment. For the manufacturing process, different substrate combinations were tested for the speed of mycelial growth. Structural elements were introduced in some panels to enhance their structural properties. Experimentations on shape variations were conducted to further broaden the potential building applications. For the second part, four post-growth treatments were compared: raw, compression, baking, and a combination of compression and baking. Finally, the different panels were exposed to the outdoor environment to assess the panels’ durability. …
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK
For the myceliated panels production, the optimal combination was made of red oak saw dust with soy hull and gypsum, which was pasteurized and grown in tents allowing air exchange. This combination was the last one tested in this process and could be used for further research. The fungus fully covered the panels’ surface after 3 weeks, but the inside was lacking growth. Once the panel’s surface was fell, structural integrity was reduced. Unbaked compressed panels were best at maintaining their original morphology in the outdoor setting. Keeping the fungus alive allowed it to continue its growth after being implemented on the prototype, which seemed to improve structural capacity of the panels. Yet, for indoor usage, the alive fungus might damage the building and create allergy problems. Therefore, in most building applications, myceliated panels should be baked.
While implementing growth in future architecture can be carried out, the processes need to be developed further. Manufacturing myceliated panels for buildings are an example of using biological organisms for the material production stage of a building life cycle. Even if this material is biodegradable, today’s manufacturing process still requires the use of unsustainable materials. The longevity of a myceliated panel in an outdoor environment is far from the expected lifespan of a building, but its deterioration could potentially be used as the growing media of a green wall system. Further research will be conducted on growing other fungus species on diverse substrate sizes and densities, and the growth of plants on the myceliated panels.
We would not be able to live the life we are living without the help of moulds and mushrooms from nature. Fungi are [our past, ] our present and they will shape our future. They are champions in recycling and material transformation; their biosynthetic capacities are unmatched in the microbial world. We should do our best to harness their abilities! Fundamental and applied science on fungi offers solutions for the shift from our current petroleum-based economy into a bio-based circular economy, opens new avenues for food security as demand increases from a growing human population, and provides us with new concepts on how to ensure human, animal and plant health in the future. Science on fungi discussed in this white paper already contributes to 10 out of 17 UN development goals (Fig. 8) and their role will become even more important for the future of mankind.
The economist Peter Drucker (1909–2005) once said: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Stronger mutual collaborations between scientists, engineers, artists, designers and industrial stakeholders, and vivid communication with the general public and policymakers will ensure that the inter- and transdisciplinary science on fungi will create a path towards innovative breakthroughs. As Peter Drucker suggests, this will create a sustainable economic future based on fungal cell factories for years to come.
Some related projects:
A successful Kickstarter project:
LOVELY TRASH: Vases grown with fungi on coffee cup waste
I ask what is different about Blast Studio‘s “composite formula”, that they believe it is water-repellant and they can produce a pavilion from their technique.
July 2020 – Highlights
•The dynamic mechanical properties of mycelium composites were studied for the first time at a broad moisture gradient.
•Novel mycelium composites from Agaricus bisporus gave high moisture-resistance.
•The dense structure and rich chemical composition of rapeseed cake made it a potent feeding substrate for mycelia.
2018 – Highlights
•A new self-healing concept is explored, in which fungi are used fill concrete cracks.
•An initial screening of different species of fungi has been conducted.
•Trichoderma reesei was found to be able to grow equally well with or without concrete
.Trichoderma reesei can promote the formation and precipitation of CaCO3.
You might be wondering what happened to Hy-Fi, that igloo-like structure in New York. The answer points to one of the most beautiful things about mycelium buildings. No wrecking ball or slow decay for them. It was taken down and composted.
This mushroom monument gave architectural researcher Phil Ayres an idea. ‘It was impressive,’ said Ayres, who is based at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark. But this project and others like it were using fungus as a component in buildings such as bricks without necessarily thinking about what new types of building we could make from fungi.
That’s why he and three colleagues have begun the FUNGAR project – to explore what kinds of new buildings we might construct out of mushrooms.
Buildings and construction are responsible for 39% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions – and a whopping 21% of those emissions come just from the making of steel and concrete. Construction also uses vast amounts of natural resources. Take sand, one of the principal ingredients in concrete. It takes a special sort, with just the right roughness, to make concrete. These days it is a lucrative commodity and controlled in some parts of the world by sand mafias and stolen by the boatload from islands. …
… The next major goal for the FUNGAR project is to build a small, freestanding building. They plan to pull that off within a year and then spend time monitoring it as it ages. It is crucial, says Ayres, to be able to monitor the living structure and see how it changes. It isn’t yet clear exactly what sorts of structures might end up being made from fungi, but they will probably start small.
Fungar, the project that that seeks to develop a fully integrated structural and computational living substrate using fungal mycelium for the purpose of growing architecture. Fungar will target two principle technological breakthroughs:
1. growing monolithic structures at metre length scales
2. functionilising the mycelium network to act as a computing device
If you are looking for a video to get the BASIC point across about myco-composite, this is a nice one…..
Additional posts, you can take a look at – about Mycelium:
Mycelium R&D Projects
Mycelium in Fashion Marketing – One Approach
May 2019 Mycelium in Industry update: Construction, Packaging, Textile, Furniture, +
June 2019 Mycelium Composites? Hands-on – Do it yourself
October 2019 Mycotecture? more-Mycelium in Construction
March 2020 “Mycelium in Industry” Where else can you get information?
March 2020 Mycelium in Construction?…some tangible progress
October 2020 Mycelium Is IN Textile/Fashion – 2020
Decembver 2020 MycoProteins – Mushrooms To Meat?
January 2021 More Mycelium To Bring Down CO2
February 2021 Construction, Mycelium, Industry..Wait A Minute
….all of which can be the foundation of thousands of Local Future Businesses
Mycelium in Industry – Ancient and New
Suppliers of Mycelium Composite Material, around the world:
>Mr. Russell Whittam, www.aussimushroomsupplies.com.au,
I’ve done lots of work with universities the last few years; supplying them with substrate and how to make their own materiel, etc. as well.
I’ve got a new product coming out about mid-2020 – for making things – just add water, spawn and mold the material. Then let it grow. Contact him at: [email protected]
>Grown.bio – has a license agreement with Ecovative Design.
their new MycoComposite™ kits consist of only LIVING mushroom material and are supplied to the EU countries. Possible also for geographical Europe, but customs clearances must be taken care of by the person making the order.
Grown.bio is now supplying the Mycelium Composite ™ material to insulate buildings. They have insulated class rooms in an Amsterdam school building and in a house in a village near Rotterdam. Scroll down to Building & Architecture products here. They have supplied the MycoComposite™ to many of the projects taking place in Europe, recently, that have been mentioned in my posts. Grown.bio sells other things made from MycoComposite™.
Ecovative is speaking to several potential parties about opening a Mushroom Packaging operation in India. It’s too early for names, but they hope to have a partner qualified by the end of next year.
>MYCL, Mycotech Lab has an internship program. It makes a lot of sense to get some controlled experience with mycelium. MYCOTECH Lab produces and sells, mycelium board composite panels BIOBO, and supplied the labor and material for the MycoTree project.
> Bio Fab NZ a new company that Ecovative has licensed in New Zealand. “Lesley, We currently work within Australasia so can only ship within New Zealand and Australia. We are looking at having a large scale plant open early to mid 2021 and aim to set up one in Australia soon after. We are planning on selling Grow-it-yourself kits, but not until our plant is up and running.” says James from [email protected]
> The Magical Mushroom Company a new company/website in the UK. (Ecovative License)..For Job Hunters: Magic Mushroom is looking for a Mycelium Prototype Packaging Designer via Linkedin or contact them directly: [email protected]
>Grow-It-Yourself Kits for MycoComposite™ are now available direct from Ecovative’s Grow.bio. Here you will find all instructions, learning, and purchasing information. Grow.bio, however, only ships the MycoComposite™ material within North America.
>Ecovative Design has transferred all their Mushroom Packaging production equipment to a facility 4x bigger at Paradise Packaging Co. The new company and new website offer you more information about the mushroom packaging material and how it works. As always, the company is also happy to discuss licensing.
>The Mushroom Guru, Ash Gordon, that assisted Ms. Katy Ayers with her Myconoe, would be happy to “help people grow mycelium and mushrooms in any capacity“. Nebraska Mushroom LLC, [email protected]
>>>more places around planet Earth?:
From Ecovative: Become a licensee in your country
>If you are interested in obtaining a MycoComposite license in a region outside of North America and/or are interested in a field of use outside of packaging, such as architectural elements, building construction materials, acoustics, etc., please follow this link to obtain a copy of our Super GIY (Grow-it-Yourself) license.
>For Super GIY Packaging Applications – Please Note: when considering your business case for packaging applications for MycoComposite technology, we typically focus on replacing polypropylene, polyethylene and polyurethane foams, as well as low volumes of polystyrene. We do not focus on replacing molded paper pulp or cut corrugated cardboard, as these are often sustainable and cost-efficient solutions.
>Licensing MycoComposite™ allows the partner to explore alternate substrates, techniques, and products. for other issues Contact Ecovative Here.
Or go to the Licensee Application page.
If you are a Myco Composite Supplier, or you know of one or a course on how to make Mycelium Composite Material, PLEASE let me know! So I can add them to the list!