I came across an interesting article at www.bbc.com that outlines several intriguing alternatives to materials that have toxic consequences.
“Stone wool” comes from igneous rock and slag which are melted together and spun into fibers. Unlike fiberglass insulation, or foamed plastic, stone wool can be engineered to be fire resilient, provide good insulation, be water repellent and durability in extreme weather.
Various fungi might replace materials like polystyrene, packaging, insulation, or leather. Extracting the vegetative tissues of mushrooms and solidifying them into new structures, as one might do with rubber or cork, is possible. Mycelium can be used as a bonding agent to hold together wood paneling, or a flame-retardant packaging. Mycelial products are easy to culture and germinate, and can be configured into any shape, forming polymers that adhere like strong glue.
Bricks could be made with leftover brewery grains, like concrete modeled after ancient Roman cement. “Biostone” is a mixture of sand, nutrients, and urea. Microbes are used to metabolise the mixture, bonding the sand molecules together. Biostone produces no greenhouse gases and uses widely available materials. This material would require reinforcement to be as strong as concrete, but it could have many applications
“Uniboard” is made from 100% pre-consumer recycled or recovered wood fiber. It saves trees and avoids landfill, while also generating far fewer greenhouse gases than traditional particleboard, and it contains no toxins. Uniboard uses renewable fibers like corn stalks and hops, and there is no added formaldehyde.
2 thoughts on “Natural Products that could Replace Toxic Materials”
Very helpful thanks. There are people out here who put their knowledge of chemicals to find these healthy results!!
I have used the rock wool aka Roxul, insulation in numerous superinsulating projects. it is a dream to work with.
I even built wooden frames around doorways and windows,placed the ROxul into black contractors bags, then compressed each night and when days were below 40degree F, into the frames for R30 insulation to keep heat inside from escaping outside. it cut the heat bill significantly!