Technological watch

Mycelium-Based Composites as a Sustainable Solution for Waste Management and Circular Economy

The global population is expected to increase by nearly 2 billion individuals over the next three decades, leading to a significant surge in waste generation and environmental challenges. To mitigate these challenges, there is a need to develop sustainable solutions that can effectively manage waste generation and promote a circular economy. Mycelium-based composites (MBCs) are being developed for various applications, including packaging, architectural designs, sound absorption, and insulation. MBCs are made by combining fungal mycelium with organic substrates, using the mycelium as a natural adhesive. Mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi, can be grown on various organic feedstocks and functionalized into a range of diverse material types that are biobased and thus more sustainable in their production, use, and recycling. This work aims to obtain mycelium-based composites with acoustic absorption properties, using coffee grounds and agricultural waste as raw materials. The topic approached presents a new method of recovering spent coffee grounds that does not involve high production costs and reduces two current environmental problems: noise pollution and abundant waste. Measurements of the normal-incidence sound absorption coefficient were presented and analyzed. Mycelium-based composites offer an innovative, sustainable approach to developing bio-composite sound-absorbing surfaces for interior fittings. The material by Ganoderma lucidum exhibits exceptional sound-absorbing properties at frequencies below 700 Hz, which is a crucial aspect of creating sound-absorbing materials that effectively absorb low-frequency sound waves. The modular construction system allows for a high degree of flexibility to adapt to short-term changes in the workplace.

Publication date: 13/01/2024

Author: Daniel-Gabriel Barta

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma17020404

MDPI (materials)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.