Monday, April 25, 2011

Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic ?

Mycellium has almost mystical significance to some greens, but as Eben Bayer of ecovative design notes in this TED Talk, it can also be used to make a biodegradable packaging material called "mycobond" from a variety of different types of waste biomass, thus eliminating the need to make materials like styrofoam from fossil fuel inputs - Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic ?.
Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment.

Eben Bayer is co-inventor of MycoBond, an organic (really -- it's based on mycelium, a living, growing organism) adhesive that turns agri-waste into a foam-like material for packaging and insulation.

I'm not sure if this is truly a form of bioplastic, but I'm going to count it as a variety of green chemistry. Apparently Dell is going to use this in some of their packaging, so it is gaining some traction already.

You can view the growth process in this video - and unlike most plastics used in packaging, it is fire resistant.

Cross posted from Peak Energy.

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