The Process

close-up of bio-materialIn 2023, the Bio-materials Lab received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The funding furthers work on the research project, "Celium: Cellulose-Mycelium Composites for Carbon Negative Buildings/Construction." The project uses materials grown, harvested and created in the Arctic.






Storing Carbon with Materials Produced by Living Fungal Factories

Circular process for the production of mycelium - and cellulose-based composites (MCC)


Removal of pyrogenic carbon by salvaging insect-killed spruce; pulping and cellulose extraction; cellulose fiber

Mycelium foam matches the performance of plastic foams used for the insulation of buildings, fish coolers, take-out food packaging, and fishing gear, and prevents plastic pollution. It is a sustainable alternative to plastics because it stores carbon instead of releasing it and is biodegradable at the end of a life-cycle. Unlike petroleum-based plastics, it does not create plastic pollution and toxic waste in streams. 

Mycelium-cellulose composites (MCC) are safe and environmentally friendly. They can be manufactured from fully-renewable sources, such as salvaged wood, with a fraction of the energy input required to produce conventional plastics. 

Chitin in mycelium is stronger than steel and makes MCC materials stable in the most challenging environments. MCCs are versatile an easily customized to meet the required shape and function

Mycelium-cellulose composites are carbon-negative, and can become a green alternative to plastics in the Arctic. MCC can change how we produce fish coolers, computer circuit boards, and even buildings. We can protect against the changing climate extremes while storing carbon — instead of releasing it into the atmosphere

Mycelium inoculant plus bioreactor synthesis; foaming tech


Graphics by Manuel Arias Barrantes, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Dr. Philippe Amstislavski, Div. of Population Health Sciences at UAA.