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Nature Scientific Report: Mycelium-bound Biocomposite – A Sustainable Replacement for Particleboards

Mycelium-bound materials would play a significant role in mitigation of adverse climate change effect imposed by material consumption and resource scarcity. This paper, published by KIT researchers in scientific reports as part Nature publishing group, proposes dense mycelium-based composites (DMCs) as a potential green alternative to traditional particleboards.

Mycelium, as the root of fungi, is composed of filamentous strands of fine hyphae that bind discrete substrate particles into a block material. With advanced processing, dense mycelium-bound composites (DMCs) resembling commercial particleboards can be formed.

Testing specimens: a, dimensions of testing samples and b, test specimens for flexural, tensile and compression testing (from top to bottom)

In this paper the research team including Dr. Nazanin Saeidi, Dr. Alireza Javadian, and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel from the chair of Sustainable Construction at KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany in collaboration with Urban Biocycle project at FCL global and Xin Ying Chan and Prof. Manoj Gupta from NUS, Singapore have investigated the possibility of using DMCs as a green alternative to particleboards. 

A detailed investigation was carried out on the mechanical properties and performance of DMCs under the working conditions of particleboards. The DMC was made using Ganoderma lucidum mycelium grown on a substrate of sawdust and empty fruit bunch collected from the waste byproducts of Sawmills and Palm oil factories. The DMC was then subjected to weathering under tropical conditions over 35 days and tested under flexural, tensile, and compressive loading with reference to international standards. The results over the weathering period reveal that weathering reduces the strength and rigidity of the material.

However, by application of a commonly used natural oil-based coating DMC was able to withstand degradation under tropical weathering conditions. Furthermore, it was shown that some improvements to the material’s consistency could effectively increase the material strength and resistance to weathering with the help of a protective coating. Therefore, DMC could be a promising material as an environmentally friendly substitute for particleboards if such improvements in material production are made.

More information about the scientific report on nature.com.

       
 
 
 
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Fakultät für Architektur
Institut Entwerfen und Bautechnik

Professur Nachhaltiges Bauen
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Recent Publications:  
 

    The Architecture of Waste – Design for a Circular Economy

    November 29, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk (2021), “Afterword”, in: The Architecture of Waste – Design for a Circular Economy”, 2021, p. 232-233

     
     

    Myco-Architecture: Building with Mushrooms

    November 18, 2021

    Sigmund, Bettina (2021), “Myko-Architektur: Bauen mit Pilzen”, in: DETAIL, 6.2021, p. 32-35

     
     

    Cultivating Cycles

    November 18, 2021

    Himmelreich, Jørg (2021), Round Table with Dirk E. Hebel, Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser: “Kreisläufe kultivieren”, in: Das Magazin der SCHWEIZER BAUDOKUMENTATION, 06-2021, p. 18-21

     
     

    lookKIT – The magazine for research, teaching, innovation

    November 2, 2021

    Fuchs, Stefan (2021), Interview with Sandra Böhm, Daniela Schneider and Dirk E. Hebel: “Wir müssen einfacher, intelligenter und sortenrein bauen”, in: looKIT, 03/2021, p. 10-14.

    Wiebe, Sandra (2021), “The Future City as Resource Supply” (about RoofKIT), in: looKIT, 03/2021, p. 34-37.

    Link, Regina (2021), “Das Bauwesen braucht eine radikale Wende” (about Architects for Future Karlsruhe) , in: lookKIT, 03/2021, p. 46-49.

     
     

    “The time of mycelium will come”

    November 2, 2021

    Backhaus, Anne (2021), “Die Zeit der Pilze wird kommen”, in: Energiewende-Magazin, Nr. 9/2021, p. 46-55.

     
     

    Interview: With the future design of reversible buildings, cities can become their own material reservoir

    June 25, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Cordula Rau (2021), Cordula Rau im Gespräch mit Dirk E. Hebel: Mit der künftigen Konzipierung rückbaubarer Gebäude können Städte zu ihrem eigenen Material-Reservoir werden, in: architektur. aktuell: the art of building, June 2021, p. 14-15.

     
     

    Urban Mining and Circular Construction

    June 1, 2021

    Heisel, Felix, Dirk E. Hebel, (Ed.) (2021), Urban Mining und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen. Die Stadt als Rohstofflager, Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2021.

     
     

    Bricolage: Renewable building materials

    June 1, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Jenny Keller (2021), Bricolage 3: Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, in: werk, bauen + wohnen, Materialkreislauf, 5-2021, p. 30-31.

     
     

    Green architecture or green fairy tales?

    May 12, 2021

    Welzbacher, Christian (2021), Grüne Architektur oder grüne Märchen?, in: Deutsches Architektenblatt, NACHHALTIG, 05/2021, p. 16-21.

     
     

    Building as materials cycle

    May 6, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Angela Kratz (2021), Bauen als Stoffkreislauf, in: IBA Magazin No. 4, Heidelberg für alle, April 2021, p. 24-25.

     
     

    Recycling through leasing

    May 6, 2021

    Angélil, Marc, Sarah Graham, and Cary Siress (2021), Recycling through leasing, in: Constructing Sustainability, Lafarge Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, 2021, p. 36-37.

     
     

    Kindergarten Kambodscha

    March 30, 2021

    Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen KIT, Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, Elena Boerman, Daniel Lenz, Manuel Rausch (Hrsg.) (2021), Kindergarten Kambodscha. Professur Dirk E. Hebel. Master Studio KIT Karlsruhe Sommer 2019, Karlsruhe 2021.

     
     

    Concern of the building stock – Ten strategies for architecture

    March 16, 2021

    Welter, T., (2020), Sorge um den Bestand: Zehn Strategien für die Architektur, in: der architekt, 6/2020, p. 76.

     
     

    local material, local design, local built.

    March 8, 2021

    Böhm, Sandra (2020), Local material, local design, local built., in: archlab.docs #3, KIT Research Preprint, Karlsruhe 2020.

     
     

    build up & dismantling/ cultivation/ development

    March 5, 2021

    Böhm, Sandra (2018/19), Bau auf! & Abbau/Anbau/Aufbau, in: archlab.docs #2, KIT Research Preprint, Karlsruhe 2018/19.

     
     

    We will soon be building houses out of mycelium?

    February 22, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., BILD der FRAU (2021), Nachgefragt bei WELTbewegern: Bauen wir bald Häuser aus Pilzen?, in: BILD der FRAU.

     
     

    OFFSPRING: The KIT material library

    February 17, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Böhm, Sandra (2020), NACHWUCHS: Die KIT-Materialbibliothek, in: ASF Journal 2020, p. 46.

     
     

    From breeding, cultivation, seeding and harvesting of biological building materials

    January 18, 2021

    Presentation of some projects of the symposium grow.build.repeat.

    Schimmelpfennig, Nadine (2021), Vom Züchten, Kultivieren, Säen und Ernten biologischer Baumaterialien, in: Deutsche Bauzeitschrift, Zukunftsfähig Bauen, January 2021, p. 40-43.

     
     

    100% Ressource: Bauten als Rohstofflager

    December 10, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel (2020), 100% Ressource: Bauten als Rohstofflager, in: Sorge um den Bestand, Zehn Strategien für die Architektur, von Olaf Bahner, Matthias Böttger und Laura Holzberg für den Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA, Dezember 2020, p. 165-177.

     
     

    Materials science during studies

    November 10, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel, Sandra Böhm (2020), Materialkunde im Studium, in: Der Entwurf – Magazin der DBZ für junge Architekt*innen und Ingenieur*innen, November 2020, p. 14-17.

     
     

    Recycling

    October 16, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel (Referent), Markus Freitag (Podiumsgast), Barbara Bleisch (Moderation) (2020), Recycling, in: Auf Zeit – Architektur Forum Ostschweiz, Edition 2019, p. 153-174.

     
     

    The built environment becomes an urban mine

    October 16, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Die gebaute Umwelt wird zur Urbanen Mine, in: Die Quadratur der Kreislaufwirtschaft – Weshalb eine Ökonomie der Kreisläufe auf gesellschaftliche Kooperation bauen muss, W.I.R.E., David Hesse, Simone Achermann. p. 16-27. Zurich, Switzerland

     
     

    From the circulating, sowing and harvesting of future building materials

    August 26, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Vom Zirkulieren, Säen und Ernten zukünftiger Baumaterialien, in: Bauen im Wandel. Zukunft Bau Kongress 2019, BBSR. p. 74-79. Bonn, Germany

     
     

    Tremendous possibilities

    August 26, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Ungeheure Möglichkeiten, in: der architekt. material der stadt. 4/2020 (Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA), Berlin, Germany

     
     

    Constructed from mycelium

    July 21, 2020

    Klaaßen, Lars (2020). Aus Pilz gebaut, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 18.07.2020, München, Germany

     
     

    The opportunities of the urban mine

    July 7, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Die Chancen der urbanen Mine. Wie ein kreislaufgerechtes Bauen die Ressourcenfrage der Zukunft decken kann, in: PLANERIN. Mitgliederfachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung, p. 21-24. 3_20, Berlin, Germany

     
     

    Stark wie Stahl

    July 2, 2020

    Beck, Gabriela (2020). Stark wie Stahl, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung s.41, Nr.90, Bauen und Wohnen, 18./19.04.2020. München , Germany

     
     

    Changing Paradigms!

    March 19, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E., Werner Sobek (2020). Changing Paradigms: Materials for a World Not Yet Built, in: The Materials Book, 139-141. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel (2020). Culitvated Building Materials: The Fourth Industrial Revolution?, in: The Materials Book, 145-149. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

    Heisel, Felix (2020). Reuse and Recycling: Materializing a Circular Construction, in: The Materials Book, 156-160. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

     
     

    Pavilion made of recycled materials

    March 19, 2020

    KIT Karlsruhe (2020). Pavillon aus Recycling-Materilaien, in: Neuland, Innovation am KIT 2019, 2020. 40

     
     

    House building for the heirs

    March 19, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Hausbau für die Erben, in: Südzeit, March 2020: no. 84, 8-9