Hemp & Fungi

Blog By Dermot Moore
Can we make hemp even more effective?

Already a material with a vast range of uses, serving as a source of fuel, plastic composites, tools, textiles, construction material, and rejuvenation for the ecosystem in which it grows.

However, even this wonder plant needs help, and one complimentary counterpart can be found in the world of fungi. Like hemp, fungal biotech has gained immense traction in recent years, with a particular leaning towards tackling environmental issues.

Potential Sustainable Applications 

In Construction & Design

Stronger than concrete and without carbon and dust release, could this complement hemp’s capacity for carbon sequestration?

Mycelium (vegetative part of fungus) adhesive can be used to replace synthetic ones, which often contain toxic compounds, such as formaldehyde. Mycelium bricks consist of organic waste and mycelium, which, when dried, increases in strength. Mycelium based biodegradable furniture. There is an added advantage of high fire and water resistance. 

In Farming & Waste

Spent mushroom substrate – remaining material from harvested mushrooms is a highly nutritious fertiliser for other crops. There is a possibility of this being incorporated to increase hemp’s material value whilst also supporting hemp in rejuvenating soil?

In food processing wastewater treatment, fungal treatment converts waste, which can be recycled for animal food and valuable biochemicals, to name a couple of its applications.

This highlights the role fungi can play in regenerative farming, helping destigmatise fungi and hemp, which serve as sustainable resources.

Insulation

Thes two super plants can be combined. As we already know, hemp fibre is a fantastic source of insulation, but adding mycelium can improve acoustic absorption, particularly beneficial to buildings in high traffic areas.

Packaging 

Fungi and hemp combined to make biodegradable packaging. Although the production of hemp and fungal products is more costly, the price levels out compared to non-biodegradable packaging, which is expensive to recycle or dump.

This could be the beginning of a very productive collaboration.