Mushroom materials are produced from agricultural waste and mushroom roots. Mushroom roots contain mycelium, a fungus that converts hydrocarbons into carbohydrate chains. The chains then wrap themselves around anything that gets in the way as tightly as a web. Agricultural waste products such as mixture of rice husks, corn stalks, or any other crop waste are mixed with mycelium in order to provide the fungus a medium of growth.
Mycelium grows underground in the absence of light, and its growth does not require any external force. Over the space of a few days, the fungus fibers bind the waste together, forming a solid shape, which is then dried to stop it growing any further. Once dried, this mycelium-built material can then be sanded and painted to resemble other building materials. These structures are rigid and are used in the production of electronic components, spare parts, and other accessories or components. These materials can be molded into durable boards needed in the furniture industry. Mushroom materials can withstand extreme temperatures, and when their lifetime of use is over, they can be easily composted.
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Mushroom materials do not degrade without exposure to living organisms, such as those found in soil biota, and moisture. Mycelium is used as a bonding agent to hold together wood particles for paneling, as well as for a durable, flame-retardant, and lightweight packaging. Mushroom materials are high performing, cost competitive, volatile organic compounds free, not derived from petroleum or food, naturally fire resistant, rapidly renewable, and fine-tunable to meet the needs.
The mushroom materials market can be classified based on feedstock, application, and geography. In terms of feedstock, the mushroom materials market can be segmented into rice husks, corn stalks, or any other crop waste. The rice husks segment is likely to hold a major share in the mushroom materials market in the near future. Based on application, the mushroom materials market can be split into thermal insulation panels, building materials, protective packaging, and others.
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The others segment includes mushroom materials used in the manufacture of decorative items such as table lamps, flower pots, and others. Building materials is likely to be a dominant segment of the mushroom materials market during the forecast period. Building products manufactured from mushroom materials offer high performance ability, fire resistance, and can be easily molded. Mushroom materials possess natural aesthetic properties and are priced competitively compared to most fabricated plastic foams.
Mushroom materials are light in weight, ecofriendly, and easy to transport. These properties are projected to boost their demand in the near future, driving the mushroom materials market. However, limited availability of raw materials such as mushroom roots and other agricultural waste is estimated to be a major constraint for the mushroom materials market.