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Research Project Information




Research Project Summary Information



Gel Assisted Casting of a self assembling biocomposite material(30433)

Ecovative Design LLC

Background

Ecovative’s current production process for MycoBond, a fossil-fuel-free alternative to Styrofoam and other expanded foams, employs a two-stage incubation process in thin-walled polyethylene (PE) tools for 3-5 days until the farm waste is bound enough to maintain the desired geometry. The PE growth enclosures presently consume an exorbitant amount of energy in their production and recycling, and the incubation process uses a high volume of these tools. The proposed research seeks to create a self-supporting gelatinous suspension that can be quickly molded into its final shape in seconds, replacing the existing process that requires days.

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Project Description

The proposed research seeks to answer two principle questions: (1) How does the regionally sourced substrate (farm waste) and method of fungal mycelium inoculation affect the casting process? (2) What are the optimal incubation conditions to reduce product growth time while meeting customer and industry metrics (cost, performance)? In answering these questions, the quantified process parameters will inform a prototype casting line that would be demonstrated in one of Ecovative’s New York State facilities during the second stage of the work plan.

Benefits

The elimination of the 3.2-kW thermoformer will result in 874 kWh/yr savings, reduction in the cost of goods sold, and significantly decrease the cycle time it takes to grow each part. Metrics include kilowatt hour savings, avoided capital costs, increased productivity, and job creation.

Project Results

Contractor

Ecovative Design LLC
70 Cohoes Ave
Green Island, NY 12183

Principle Investigator

Gavin McIntyre

Universities Involved

Technologies

Project Type:

On-site Process Improvement


Technologies Types:

Forming/Casting/Cutting

NYSERDA Contact Information

Scott Larsen
LSL@nyserda.ny.gov

Program

R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 3/21/2013
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: 30433




Last Updated: 3/13/2014