Researchers Develop Eco-Friendly Material From Mushrooms, Coffee Grounds and Natural Pineapple Fibers

Researchers have developed a novel eco-friendly material, “mycelium-based composites (MBCs),” which are renowned for their unique properties and sustainability. The study, published in Mycology, focuses on the fabrication of mycelium (oyster mushroom)-based composites derived from spent coffee grounds with pineapple fibre reinforcement. MBCs are biodegradable, reducing waste and reducing their environmental footprint. The production process is sustainable, as mycelium can be grown on organic waste materials, repurposing waste and consuming less energy compared to traditional plastics and synthetic materials.

MBCs are highly versatile, with their strength and density customizable to suit various applications, including lightweight packaging and more robust building materials. They also possess excellent natural insulation properties, making them an attractive option in the construction sector. Certain treatments and growth conditions can render these composites fire-resistant, enhancing their safety profile and applicability in scenarios where fire resistance is crucial.

The research, led by Dr. Nattawut Boonyuen and Dr. Pitak Laoratanakul, combines oyster mushroom mycelia with used coffee grounds, marking a significant advancement in packaging and construction. The unique blend, further enriched with natural pineapple fibers, signifies a substantial breakthrough in sustainable materials development. By adjusting the proportion of pineapple fibers incorporated into the composite, its characteristics can be modified, ranging from increased strength to improved water resistance.

The fire-resistant nature of MBCs further underscores their practicality, merging environmental sustainability with safety. This development represents a significant move towards sustainable living and exemplifies the extraordinary potential of natural elements and scientific ingenuity.

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