This project investigates how, from a large computer database, specially selected fungi can break down several thermosetting bio resins. These bio resins are used in bio-composite materials such as road signs, bus shelters and even pedestrian bridges. To determine the best biodegradator, various fungi are tested with resin as the carbon source. Biodegradation of (bio) resin in biocomposites can be an innovative and environmentally friendly technique to reuse the various components in biocomposites at the end of their lifespan. The question is, does this work with fungi specially selected by us?
Environmental awareness has led to an increasing demand for more sustainable building materials. As a result, biocomposites are increasingly used in today’s market and society. The available information about their final phase is only limited. NPSP and Avans are working together in this project towards a possible solution. A nice side effect of this project is that it is a logical addition to two other projects in which the mechanical and chemical recycling of the same thermosetting bio resins is investigated.
Diversity of components
Furan resin and polyester / styrene are used by NPSP in the production of their biocomposites (Nabasco), along with a blend of biofibers and a filler. Due to the diversity of components and product design, the end-of-life treatment of these materials can be challenging. Biodegradation can therefore be an innovative and environmentally friendly technique.
When we are ultimately able to break down these resins, we will focus in a follow-up project on the next phase: recycling. We have not got that far yet, but high-quality reuse could include applications in the direction of a solid mycelium product as a building material or packaging or purifying an enzyme cocktail for industrial processes or cleaning products.