Red Herring has an interesting story about a start-up, Ecovative, in the US where two Whiz kids have demonstrated the use of mushrooms and fungi to create organic insulation. (the article is not yet available online)
To make Ecovative’s insulation, living cells from mushrooms are injected into a panel mold along with a waste feedback (flour or starbucks coffee grinds, for instance), water, and mineral particles like perlite, a potting soil ingredient.[…]After a week or two, the panel is baked, killing off all fungal life. “the magic of what we are doing is we’re letting fungi do the manufacturing on the micro-scale”, says Mr. Bayer…these fungi are taking the food and reassembling it into a cellular body.[It’s] kind of a low-tech biotech”.
Industry observers sat Ecovative stradles two very hot, yet still emerging subsectors of cleantech – industrial biotech, which leverages biological processes and organisms for use in industrial production, and “green” building, a growing movement for environmentally sustainable building materials.
“The questions is: can they really deliver on the price, and is the performance equal or better than the existing product that’s out there?”