Scientists have developed a technology for the production of leather materials from mushrooms
Researchers have demonstrated how to make skin substitutes from processed mushroom mass.
Today, leather is a by-product of meat production, and synthetic substitutes are usually made from various types of plastics. Environmentalists are skeptical of the first option, and ecologists are skeptical of the second. Now scientists from the Vienna University of Technology have proposed a new alternative.
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They developed a technology for the production of tanning materials from mushrooms by recycling sawdust and inexpensive by-products from agriculture and forestry, which act as a substrate for the growth of tubular mycelium structures. The scientists collected the mushroom biomass in a couple of weeks physically and chemically, transforming it into sheets that look like skin and have similar tactile properties.
This material consists of chitin and polysaccharides, which are completely decomposed in the natural environment. In parallel, the team also used mushrooms and lumpy tinder fungi for the production of paper and foam analogues.
We’ve also previously reported on the development of an efficient way to convert brewery waste to fuel.