The Netherlands produces tonnes of ligneous fibrous biomass in agriculture (straw, flax, miscanthus), horticulture (tomato stems) , industry and maintenance of natural reserves (reed, wood). This number is expected to grow to an annual amount of 3 Mton in the next years (RVO – Routekaart biogrondstoffen 2020). In current business models the majority of this material is regarded as waste streams and is often cascaded to an energy source.
We are developing a scalable method to transform local fibrous biomass into a 100% natural ‘mycelium composite’. These composites consist of only two components: the fibres and mycelium, the root system of a fungi. Our fermentation process enables us to upcycle fibrous waste streams such as straw, reed and tomato stems into composites with properties similar to Styrofoam and cork. We therefore often call it ‘nature’s styrofoam’.
Interior building products
The combination of good acoustic and thermal insulation properties combined with the fact that the material is 100% natural, make our Fairm Foams valuable for circular building- and interior products, such as doors, interior walls, desk dividers, acoustic panels or phone booths.
In nature, at the end of its life a tree does not need to become a new tree. It is decomposed into nature’s building blocks, so it can become anything without restrictions. This independancy towards the past are a core strength of nature’s circular systems. Because our materials are 100% natural, they fit within this approach. Our material can be re-used, or become a fertilizer, decomposing to start a new life cycle of biomass.