Non-Gastronomic Mushroom Utility

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Thanks, as always, for the interesting news on creative use for mushrooms beyond the gastronomic, from the Guardian:

Mushrooms and orange peel: could biotech clean up the building industry?

A biotech startup is researching building materials that could revolutionise construction. Not only are they biodegradable – some also absorb toxins

Cocoa husks, dried orange peel, ground blue pea flowers: the ingredients read like a tasting menu. They are, in fact, waste products that are used to make Orb – a sustainable building material that is carbon neutral. It’s versatile enough to be used for furniture or as a substitute for a wood-based sheet material.

Orb is produced by Biohm, a startup founded in 2016 by Ehab Sayed. Sayed grew up in Doha, Qatar, and says his home town is one of the “biggest motivators” for him to inspire change. “Although it is the richest country in the world, it is likely one of the least sustainable and a contributor to the climate crisis,” he says. “Growing up in this environment resulted in a resentment towards the impact we are having on our planet.”

Sayed studied design engineering and graduated from Brunel University with an MSc in integrated product design. “I have always been shocked at how manufacturers and material developers don’t extend their responsibility to their product’s end of life and how inefficient our waste management processes are. The concept of waste has never made sense to me,” he says. “It is a human construct that has resulted in major problem.”

During his studies, he conducted two research projects. The first explored which industries caused hazardous levels of waste in the UK. “Everything pointed towards construction,” he says. The second looked at the environmental impact of those waste materials. “That was even more shocking,” he says. Sayed decided that the way to tackle this is to create buildings from natural materials. “I started exploring what could be used, knowing that I absolutely had to find a solution for structural materials, insulation and sheet materials.”…

Read the whole story here.

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