I ran across a recent TED presentation by Eben Bayer, co-inventor of MycoBond. MycoBond is an adhesive based on mycelium, a living organism. In essence, the process uses fungi to transform agriwaste and convert it into a foam-like material that can be used for packaging and insulation.
Styrofoam is ubiquitous in transport and packaging. Styrofoam takes up 25-30% of landfill area by volume. Polystyrene manufacturing was recognized by the EPA as the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste all the way back in 1986. In addition to not being particularly degradable, Styrofoam uses significant amounts of petroleum.
Styrofoam packaging may be more significant in the retail chain of commerce than construction per se, but even construction material packaging uses this material. The part that intrigues me is two-fold: one, replacing Styrofoam with a natural product as a insulation material may be a sustainability game changer; and two, MycoBond represents a technological advancement that can change the playing field dramatically of our environmental footprint on multiple levels.
I do not know a great deal about this product, but what an interesting and exciting possibility. I hope you enjoy!