Start-up makes lights from mushrooms
Estonian start-up Myceen, which makes products from mushrooms, has unveiled its first luminaire.
The B-Wise pendant is manufactured from mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi, whose growth has been arrested. The material is said to be ‘carbon negative’ as it can lock up the carbon in the residual organic material such as sawdust. It has excellent sound-absorption properties, it completely safe for humans and buildings and is compostable at the end of the product’s life.
The frame of the lamp is made from plywood and aluminium.
‘Fungi have been living on Earth for hundreds of millions of years,’ says the firm. ‘Considering their experience it is clear that fungi are far more advanced than humans. It therefore should be natural to learn from them, especially when we have realised we can not continue as we have until now.’
Mycelium consists of a network of hyphae that provide nutrients for the fungus. This network can bind loose matter into solid, non-flammable, carbon-negative material with good acoustic properties. The growth of mycelium is stopped by drying the material and no fruiting bodies and spores can be formed.
Myceen says it uses Life Cycle Assessment methodology to make sure that the light is truly sustainable.’Based on that information we can say how much CO2 each production step and product as a whole emits.
‘Since mycelium-based production is energy-efficient and can lock the carbon in the residual organic material used in our products, we can state that our materials are carbon negative.
‘Moreover, the mycelium materials are compostable, they return into the natural cycle when thrown away.’
The company says that its large acoustic panel’s CO2 equivalent is ca -2.5 kg when an average furniture item emits 40 kg of CO2 during its production. (FIRA 2011).
• Recolight offers special one-day training workshops on ‘Lighting product design for a Circular Economy’. Hosted by industrial designer Simon Fisher of F Mark, the CPD-accredited event explores the design criteria, regulations and standards to help lighting manufacturers apply and demonstrate circular economy principles in product development. More HERE.