08 Apr '11, 5pm

Car parts made out of mushrooms will—wait, what?

Car parts made out of mushrooms will—wait, what?

Man, is there anything mushrooms can’t do? They make a damn fine fake meat, they make Mario bigger, caterpillars smoke hookahs on them, the whole nine yards. And now, thanks to a company called Ecovative, they can be used to replace styrofoam in some of Earth’s most persistent enemies: packing materials and car parts. The fake foam actually grows itself -- Ecovative fills a mold with a mix of mushroom spores and a waste material like oat husks, and over a few days the mushrooms grow and the roots glue themselves together into a strong and lightweight material. Like styrofoam, it’s also waterproof and fireproof. Unlike styrofoam, it’s not the environmental equivalent of melanoma. In fact, it’ll biodegrade in just a month. Ecovative’s founder gave a TED talk on the process last year, and now they’re rolling out the mushroom-based products about as fast as they can grow ‘em. ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-04-08-car-parts-made-out-o...

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