Functional fungus, Amyris’s secret new nutritional ingredient, bioplastics for auto applications, first-ever hydrogen powered train and more: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of November 22nd

November 21, 2019 |

Christmas decorations are showing up in all the stores already so The Digest figures it’s not too early to talk about the holidays…so forget about the coal powered Polar Express this winter, as the first-ever contract in the U.S. to supply a hydrogen-powered train is actually happening! Also, what’s Packman got to do with this week’s Top 10 Innovations? Packman Packaging of course, which is using corn-based bags to help fight Southeast Asia’s plastics waste crisis. And mycelium from fungus is being used for furniture to lamp shades now, making us look at fungi in a whole new light. If you are up for some mystery, Amyris submitted regulatory review for an undisclosed nutritional ingredient…hmmm, what could it be? Get these and more innovations for the week of November 22nd.

In today’s Digest, functional fungus, Amyris’s secret new nutritional ingredient, bioplastics for auto applications, first-ever hydrogen powered train and more — ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Functional fungus: Designers tinker with mycelium to produce furniture, paneling

In the United Kingdom, the Financial Times has profiled several designers who are using mycelium as raw material.

Sebastian Cox of Kent got the idea to use fungal mycelium to produce furniture after seeing it grow in the wild. Together with biomaterials designer Ninela Ivanova, Cox began using Fomes fomentarius. He coaxes it to grow on woodchips and uses molds to gain the proper shape.

Meanwhile, Adam Davies’ company Tŷ Syml’s makes lamp shades from fungi. The company sells about 40 a month to eco-friendly interior designers and eateries. Davies uses hemp as a base for fungal growth. “After five days it has a really nice skin on the outside and it’s all contained,” he tells the publication. Davies is also trialing the use of spent grain from a nearby brewer to grow his fungi. The material would otherwise be landfilled.

Cox adds that he would like to develop packaging material, and Davies is currently working on large acoustic paneling made from mycelium.
More on the story, here.

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