We use polyurethane to make just about everything in our days, it’s easy to produce, durable and cheap too. What it isn’t is recyclable, there isn’t really a single natural process that breaks it down fully, that is until a newly discovered Amazonian fungus was found (Back in 2011).
Pestalotiopsis microspora (shown above) is a resident of the Ecuadorian rainforest and was discovered by a group of student researchers led by molecular biochemistry professor Scott Strobel as part of Yale’s annual Rainforest Expedition and Laboratory. It’s the first fungus species to be able to survive exclusively on polyurethane and, more importantly, able to do so in anaerobic conditions—the same conditions found in the bottom of landfills. This makes the fungus a prime candidate for bioremediation projects that could finally provide an alternative to just burying the plastic and hoping for the best.
Maybe this will one day also be a solution to the “floating islands” of plastic in our oceans. Maybe they are concerns about this being used safely but I guess what I’m here to highlight is how “mother nature” always appears to present a solution to human made problems.
For more information it looks like this blog goes quite in detail:
TED talk by Paul Stamets regarding Mushrooms and how he believes that mushrooms can save our lives, restore our ecosystems and transform other worlds.
Entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets seeks to rescue the study of mushrooms from forest gourmets and psychedelic warlords. The focus of Stamets’ research is the Northwest’s native fungal genome, mycelium, but along the way he has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies, including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them, and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas.
There are cosmic implications as well. Stamets believes we could terraform other worlds in our galaxy by sowing a mix of fungal spores and other seeds to create an ecological footprint on a new planet.
Paul Stamets Quote: “Mycelium is Earth’s natural Internet.”
Making Biochar with Peter Hirst of ‘New England Biochar’, this video will likely answer most of your questions about what it is and how it’s made!
Rocket Mass Heater design idea, the basic concept is that it’s an efficient heating system that you can easily build your self and burns small amounts of wood (or junk mail) very efficiently and uses radiant heat to warm up a room.
I thought this could come in handy for heating greenhouses to grow more exotic fruit or maybe even keeping your shed warm that houses your aquaponics tank so that you can warm the water enough to grow Tilapia.