The construction industry urgently needs new, sustainable building materials in order to meet the increasing demands with regard to reducing CO2 emissions. Mycelium composites are promising materials for this, and can be used for various purposes.
One of the weak points of mycelium composites is that they are not very water resistant. Within the wood industry there is already a technology to make wood more water resistant: acetylation. The cellulose chains that wood consists of are chemically modified so that a water-repellent group is placed on the outside of the chain. This ensures that the wood can withstand water a lot better and retains its strength when wet.
Within the Water-resistant Mycelium Composites project, we will see whether we can also apply this technique to mycelium composites, and test whether they have the desired effect. The goal is to have a reproducible acetylation procedure at the end of the project, and concrete material data to build on.