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best mycelium for fabrication?


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#1 ilikethings

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 01:56 AM

Anyone working on mycelium husbandry for purposes of fiber production please contact me.  I'm looking to recruit the best untapped myco-talent available for a special project focused on commercializing the process of using mycelial liquid cultures to form "myco-injection grown structures."  A unique fabrication process that combines mycelial molding theories (currently being uses to challenge "stryro-foam") but uses LC's in-conjunction with oriented strand board theory/techniques.  I'm curious if someone knows what species of fungi is best for yielding strong overlapping mycelium.  I am not interested in fruits.  I'd prefer if it did not fruit.



#2 Myc

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 01:15 PM

I imagine reishi - ganoderma - would lend itself to this application.


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#3 ilikethings

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Posted 29 June 2021 - 09:37 PM

Thanks Myc.  I'm just throwing it out there.  I think it would be a useful fabrication process.  there is a key process element i left out of the thesis statement above that I think is key to accomplishing it...hence the reason it may seem "half baked." 

 

Idk if you've seen this? 

[Direct Link]

 

It's neat, but I don't think many of those operations are cost effective.  However, due to the nature of mycelium growing to fill its available space, the value is in advanced "in vitro" molding.  Why would you want to force the material into the mold ("injection" molding) when you can let the material fill the mold itself!  ;)


Edited by ilikethings, 29 June 2021 - 09:39 PM.

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#4 Myc

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 10:01 AM

I haven't seen that presentation but I did see one from one of the packaging producers. They focused on their product line of making packing materials - corners, spacers, etc.

 

As for cost effectiveness.

It appears as though the fungi packaging costs less than plastic production - using less energy.

I can imagine that this process also uses fewer chemicals.

So with plastic waste threatening to choke our planet - from the micro to the macro - what cost is too high for us to consider replacing as much plastic as we can?

 

I believe that plastics will remain essential for certain industries. Namely, the medical industry - I.V. bags, tubing, syringes.........on and on.

However, in the food and beverage industry, we can certainly cut back on the use of plastics if not eliminate their use all-together.

 

For this reason I think the solution to this problem (plastic and its widespread use) will be multi-faceted. With plastics being ubiquitous and the waste piles building up - we need also to find a way to remediate these materials. This solution will help us manage and deal with the "necessary" plastics I mentioned above. I can imagine oyster mushrooms playing a role given their voracious appetite.


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#5 ilikethings

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 01:00 AM

Myc,

 

Word.  Yes I've seen that video you are describing.  I'm not sure it will use less total energy (EROIE style)--considering you will need a massive (literally industrial scale) amount of semi-refined sugars being used daily--to put a dent in the Styrofoam-molded-packaging market.  I wish it wasn't true.  Meaning, the quantities of sugars you would need would make the operation literally look similar to a regional beverage bottling plant.  And those refined sugars used to feed the myc (e.g. corn syrup) in an LC would be grown using heavy equipment and copious amounts of natural gas based fertilizers.  I'm confounding two issues there.  The reason I'm suggesting an LC over an aireiated medium like the packaging corner block company's process, is bc with the LC, the final material will be </=100% myc-fiber-----alloys are possible.  This process could compete with other conventional processes for certain aeronautical applications.


Edited by ilikethings, 01 July 2021 - 01:16 AM.


#6 Myc

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 10:03 AM

Sounds like you've got it all mapped-out.

 

And producing commercial LC is - essentially - the same as brewing beer. (It's what I do as a second job. I am part of a beverage operation which produces some 10,000 barrels per year.)

So you'll need caustic and acid - for cleaning organic materials from inside pumps, vessels, hoses, - basically everything the LC touches. The huge swing in pH (from base to acid) does a good job of cleaning.

You'll need hot liquor - not hot water. Hot liquor is maintained at 140-160*F as opposed to 120*. And you'll need to heat that hot liquor - we use steam generated by a boiler.

You'll need cold liquor - not wall water. Cold liquor is maintained at 38-40*F.

You'll need a glycol chiller big enough to exchange all of the heat you'll produce. The chiller will serve your fermenters and cold liquor tank along with coming-in handy for exchanging heat when making LC and knocking-out into a fermenting vat.

And we haven't even started talking about vessels, instruments for taking various measurements, stainless steel fittings, food-grade hoses, etc.

 

In all, it takes about 10 qualified people to keep the operation running smoothly - so plan on having some employees.

 

Sounds like a noble undertaking but I don't see how we're going to avoid using fossil fuels or chemicals in the process.


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#7 ilikethings

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Posted 30 July 2021 - 11:50 PM

Very useful info.  I agree re org and people but disagree re cleanliness...i.e. the prospective clients don't need food quality cleanliness.  These are industrial products (e.g. aerospace).  I'm suggesting using the myc in a sort of injection mold process. e.g. let the myc grow in a container roughly the shape of the part desired (the myc-part-mold), then upon the myc reaching a sufficient volume and area in the mold--the liquid fluid suspending the myc would be suctioned out while the mold is contemporaneously contracted to squeeze the myc together--the "OSB" element.  Other processing steps follow to remove the moisture and preserve the multilayered fiber structure.   And imagine having very dedicated employees that hang on your every word who will work 10 hours per day for $1/hr--but that also involves building a basic water and sewage system in addition to that daily wage...in order to get the land rights to establish a commercial operation from the local elders/nobility.


Edited by ilikethings, 31 July 2021 - 12:14 AM.


#8 Myc

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 11:08 AM

My presumption is that you would pre-build the packaging shapes with industrial "waste" like hemp fibers (as from a CBD extraction operation). Fill pre-made, re-usable molds (like forms for concrete which can be stripped and re-used). The fill material could just be steam pasteurized if you're using a fast fungal cultivar like oysters. You might also have to supplement the substrate with additional nutrition - which will increase the odds of contamination occurring.

I presume further that one would inoculate the substrate with mycelium and allow it to expand into the mold - as it consumes the substrate. Once densely colonized the substrate can become quite "woody" (if you're using reishi). The mold / form would be stripped and the substrate desiccated to spec.

 

I don't see a way around sterile procedure if you plan to do this with liquid culture. The LC process will require aseptic handling or you'll wind up with a yeast or bacteria farm.

 

Study Sierra Nevada's methodology. They have some incredible ideas in action. Explore the interactive maps of their facilities, I'm sure you'll get some ideas.


Edited by Myc, 31 July 2021 - 11:10 AM.

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#9 ilikethings

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 07:28 PM

Yes in re the reusable molds--but no in re hemp and cbd silage or what have you.  I suspect you were hot reading and expounding upon my $10/day worker comment(s) (I wish I could explain more on that part as it's such a good cause to help the most destitute people in the Americas--but sadly, due to the nature of this forum and the laws, I can't bring myself to do it).  This is not one of the American hemp plantations in Bolivia that you may be thinking of.  

 

But your note on using a solid sub versus a LC--I've been coming around on too.  It sounds like you have had similar ideas.  This is where the wast hemp fiber could play a role...not as the mold itself but as the skeletal structure of the molded part.  i.e. the fiber would be to the myc as rebar is to concrete. 

 

 I think if I could be open and really leverage the knowledge base here, we could do something very special in a very cool but very poor area.  Ever been to Haiti?  What if I told you that 1/3 of Haiti, by land area, is pretty chill--but just very poor?  And some parts are super chill.  It is very hard to put into words...almost like the nature of tripping....in the way people act in Haiti.  There are places and people who will gladly exchange beach side land and operational leniency if you simply provide them with technology and training under a multiyear agreement.  It is very odd to interact with people who are mature adults and have certain learned knowledge but little to no knowledge of tech outside their commune. 

 

P.S. when the MSM says "gangs" in Haiti..., they don't know what they are talking about.  That's like saying that people in the Elks, Masons, et al. are in a gang.  Many of the so-called gangs are guys in the early 20s just forming militias to protect their community.  NOTE: Haiti abolished their military back in 1991.  But they do have a National Police force.    


Edited by ilikethings, 02 August 2021 - 07:53 PM.


#10 Myc

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 11:15 AM

 

 

But your note on using a solid sub versus a LC--I've been coming around on too.  It sounds like you have had similar ideas.  This is where the wast hemp fiber could play a role...not as the mold itself but as the skeletal structure of the molded part.  i.e. the fiber would be to the myc as rebar is to concrete. 

 

I think we are saying the same thing as far as this point goes. I guess I just didn't word my thoughts very clearly.

You have described the basic gist of what I was proposing.

 

Re-usable molds.

Fill with fibrous, nutritious agricultural waste products - straw, hemp, sawdust, (a mixture of any and or all of these materials), etc.

Pasteurize the loaded molds.

Inoculate by injecting LC - like injection-molding plastic.

Once colonized, strip the molds for repeated cleaning and re-use. I imagine the molds being made of high-impact plastics capable of resisting caustics, acids, and high-heat used for sanitizing.

Load the molds. Rack them up and roll them into a steam pasteurizing vessel (walk-in style). Once pasteurized, inoculate and incubate.......Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

 

Edit:

I'm very tempted by the notion of living in Haiti. The only fear I would have is the weather. Tropical storms seem to wipe them out with regularity. Any operation set up in that region would have to be hardened against such disasters. Bunkers? Bomb-shelter style operation?

But heck yeah. The country formerly known as the United States is going off the rails with astonishing quickness. Best to get out while we still can.


Edited by Myc, 03 August 2021 - 11:26 AM.





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