Mushroom Could Replace Plastics 07-03-2023

Mushroom Could Replace Plastics

-Remarkable Mushroom Could Replace Plastics In Everyday Products

Researchers have found that a certain mushroom could replace plastic as a raw material for a myriad of everyday products. A Feb. 22 study published in Science Advances expounded on the capability of the Fomes fomentarius mushroom to yield a wide range of materials with different properties.

  1. fomentarius becomes hoof-shaped as it ages, gaining it the nickname “hoof fungus.” The mushroom has been branded the “tinder fungus” as it is easily combustible and has been used to start fires for thousands of years.

The researchers scrutinized F. fomentarius using advanced imaging techniques and mechanical strength tests to study each layer and assess their potential uses. They found that it possesses different material properties ranging from soft and sponge-like to tough and woody.  Mushroom Could Replace Plastics

The mushroom has three layers with distinct properties that could each be useful in different ways. First, there’s a very tough outer crust that could be used to make impact-resistant coating for windshields. There’s also a soft middle layer that could replicate leather, whereas the third inner layer is similar to wood.

Using their analysis, they created a prototype set of headphones using the threadlike structure, called mycelium, that makes up a fungus.

The paper mentioned that “in the future, [F. fomentarius] could also be used to create a new class of ultra-lightweight high-performance materials.” According to the technology website Verge, products made with the mushroom would be biodegradable and could be recycled at the end of the product’s life to make a new item.

They noted that studying the molecular structure of this mushroom and others could pave the way for these biodegradable materials to become “a more sustainable building block of [people’s] lives.”  Mushroom Could Replace Plastics

Surf’s up with boards made from mushrooms

Since plastic made from fossil fuels end up in landfills and waterways due to being difficult to recycle, products made from F. fomentarius and similar mushrooms could help cut down on the mountains of waste discarded by humans.

Aside from the researchers responsible for the Feb. 22 study, surfboard designer Steve Davies is also looking at the possibility of mushrooms being used to make surfboards. The 23-year-old from Wales has been developing innovative materials made from mycelium, the root-like structures found in mushrooms.  Mushroom Could Replace Plastics

Davies’ foray into fungi began when he was still a design student working on his final project at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He set out to find a solution to the environmental impact of surfing, given that boards are made of material that does not easily degrade.

Davies used mycelium to act as a glue between a natural skeleton structure that he formed in a mold.

“It sounds a little bit crazy, but it’s a way to get away from polystyrene, polyurethane and resin boards that can sit in a landfill and not decompose for hundreds to thousands of years,” he explained. “There are over 400,000 boards made every year. Of these, 80 percent are not sustainable.”  Mushroom Could Replace Plastics

When surfboards made of polystyrene disintegrate, they may go into the ocean and bio-accumulate. Humans may end up ingesting polystyrene plastic.


courtesy of NATURALNEWS

by Belle Carter


Mushroom Could Replace Plastics

Credit : Natural News

Enzymatic technologies – Indorama IVL 06-03-2023

PEX chemical recycling project 16-02-2023

PEX chemical recycling project

-Closing the PEX pipe loop

Neste, Borealis, Uponor, Wastewise group partner on PEX chemical recycling project

In what the four partners – Neste, Borealis, Uponor and Wastewise – believe to be a one of the first projects to do so, an initiative aimed at the chemical recycling of PEX waste from pipe production operations into feedstock for new PEX pipe production has yielded successful results.

Robust PEX pipes, mainly used in cooling, heating and plumbing applications, offer temperature resistance and longevity.

However, the interconnected polymer chains make them nearly impossible to recycle with conventional recycling technologies. PEX chemical recycling project

The present initiative demonstrates that industrial PEX waste can be chemically recycled and, using an ISCC plus certified mass-balancing approach, reprocessed into a feedstock suitable for the production of new PEX pipes.

“We are very excited about this collaboration as it gives us a head start on our transition to circular materials,” says Thomas Fuhr, Chief Technology Officer at Uponor. “At Uponor we have just celebrated the first 50 years of our PEX piping, and now our new long-term goal is to use 100% of our PEX waste as raw material through closed loop recycling.”

Neste, Borealis, Uponor and Wastewise each contributed their specific expertise to the project. PEX chemical recycling project

Wastewise has used its pyrolysis-based chemical recycling technology to liquefy industrial waste from Uponor’s PEX pipe production, breaking the polymers down back into their building blocks. The resultant oil-like liquid is then co-processed in Neste’s oil refinery in Porvoo, Finland and upgraded into recycled Neste RE, a drop-in feedstock for the production of new polymers. Borealis subsequently fed this raw material into its steam cracker, polymerising it into polyethylene as part of the company’s Borcycle C, chemical recycling portfolio which could be used by Uponor to create new PEX pipe systems.

These pipes can find application in the construction sector, and are suitable even for sensitive applications with stringent requirements, such as in drinking water systems. The whole value chain is traceable via ISCC plus certified mass-balancing.

“Hard-to-recycle waste plastic as input and high-quality polymers as output are not in contradiction anymore,” said John Webster, Global Commercial Director Infrastructure at Borealis. He noted that no additional tests, approvals or validation were required, as it is a drop-in solution ready.  PEX chemical recycling project

The project also showed that not only can PEX be recycled via chemical recycling, high yields can be achieved. “Some 80% of the PEX production waste can be added back to the circle,” explained Kaisa Suvilampi, Managing Director and Partner at Wastewise. “Through our processes, we were able to turn PEX into pyrolysis oil of sufficient quality to use it as input for a refinery, which in turn can process it into a high quality cracker feed.”

Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste, cautioned that it will still take time to reach large-scale operations, but observed that the project could serve as a blueprint for circular value chains for polymers via chemically recycling. “It’s pushing the technology from the promise to the delivery phase.

Further, it shows the importance of bringing the right partners together to cooperate,” she said.  PEX chemical recycling project

The project took just six months to get from start to the production of the first PEX pipes. It is also already looking at a further step that would take it beyond using only industrial waste. Currently, end-of-life pipes produced by Uponor are mechanically recycled – or downcycled – into other construction materials or items such as hockey sticks. With chemical recycling, though, these can be turned into fully functional PEX pipes again. Moving forward, the partners will evaluate further opportunities for cooperation.

Aside from broadening the waste material pool, this may also include higher recycled volumes.  PEX chemical recycling project


PEX chemical recycling project

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