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insulation panels made of mycelium

Posts: 255
Location: rural West Virginia
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This IS a thing. I saw a clip a year or two ago about a company working with mycelium to make a plastic substitute that was compostable--in a home compost pile, not like some of the bioplastics that require industrial composting facilities (higher heat level) to break down. And their substrate was all agricultural waste. Packing materials and insulation were mentioned, which got me excited--they say they're providing Dell with biodegradable packing material now but they seem to have stopped talking about insulation. However, another company in the UK, Biohm, seems to be making insulation panels. I sent a query and got this response:

 Great to hear from you, thanks for getting in touch and keeping up with our development.

 Our first bio-manufacturing facility has been heavily delayed due to the circumstances of this pandemic, meaning we are slightly behind schedule on producing full-size, construction      accredited insulation panels available for retail. As we await accreditation we have run many tests and our product is competitive with other insulation materials out there, both in   terms of thermal conductivity, acoustic properties and fire properties.

 We currently use organic agricultural waste as a substrate for our mycelium to grow on. The process is low-energy and low-tech however is carried out in our labs under the appropriate conditions.

I sent another email asking more questions but have not gotten a response. Maybe because I explained my interest: I live in WV. where fracking for gas, pipelines to transport it, a proposal to turn the Ohio River into a petrochemical complex to rival Cancer Alley in Louisiana, and schemes for subsidies for carbon captures plans, are all issues. Half of US homes are heated with gas--I'm sure heating buildings (and water) is a big part of the demand for gas. Other heating fuels like oil, electricity (esp. if coal-fired) or nukes are not better solutions. Wood is better in my book but not feasible in many places and anyway--a better solution is to super insulate our buildings, even to passivhaus standards. But--what does it take to produce the insulation? There is another environmental battle going on on the other end of my state, where a Danish company wants to build a fiberglass manufacturing plant. Apparently it would be energy intensive and polluting, wouldn't even be legal in Denmark. Soooo--how about panels made of mycelium, in a low-tech, way--compostable when the house is torn down, won't kill the occupants with fumes if they catch fire...and--
Proponents of the petrochemical complex have been pushing a scheme they call The Appalachian Storage Hub, involving huge old salt caverns under the Ohio River to store natural gas liquids like ethane (what could go wrong), cracker plants, and factories to use the product--mostly yet more plastic. My vision is that we build an AAH instead of an ASH--Appalachian Alternatives Hub, in which people from relevant departments of regional universities come and advise would-be entrepreneurs about marketing, advertising, bookkeeping, etc. And we have 100 small businesses mostly making alternative to plastic--from wooden toys to glass and metal leftover containers to silicone bags to...mycelium insulation panels?? Whether this makes sense as a cottage industry I don't know. "Development" officials always want to land a huge faceless plant with hundreds of jobs, but I'd rather see a network of small businesses whose owners live in the community, send their kids to local schools, etc.
Anybody know anything about what's feasible, what the issues might be?
Posts: 10425
Location: South Central Kansas
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Working on it.


Feedback/collaboration welcome.
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Location: yakima valley, central washington, pacific northwest zone 6b
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Beau did a mycoinsulation project at this years PTJ.  They worked on mycelium insulation for the new well pumphouse.  Now they are making a movie about the 2023 PTJ and this project is one that will be in the movie.

Paul just released a new YT video with a clip of the mycelium insulation project.  Watch it here: https://youtu.be/en7NRhyA6WE?si=CCYqL8bWs5QKM6Mz

I miss the old days when I would think up a sinister scheme for world domination and you would show a little emotional support. So just look at this tiny ad:
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