Growing Materials: Using Mushrooms to Transform Waste at the Burke Auditorium

Mar 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Farm, Recycling

Growing Materials: Using Mushrooms to Transform Waste at the Burke Auditorium, 195 Prospect St. New Haven CT 4:30-5:30PM, March 24, 2010. Free and Open to the Public, Reception to Follow. Sponsored by the Industrial Environmental Management Program, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Ecovative Design’s CEO, Eben Bayer, will speak at the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies on Wednesday, March 24, at 4.30 p.m. in the Burke Auditorium, 195 Prospect St. His talk, entitled “Growing Materials: Using Mushrooms to Transform Waste” is sponsored by the Industrial Environmental Management (IEM) Program.
The talk is part of the 2009/2010 IEM Speaker Series sponsored by the Yale IEM Program. In its 20th year, the IEM Lecture Series brings speakers from companies and organizations to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to discuss the relationship between business and the environment. This year’s lecture series explores innovative recycling and reuse of waste.

Eben Bayer, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) graduate, founded Ecovative Design in 2007. His fascination with fungal mycelium as it strongly bonded wood chips together inspired them to think of new ways of using mycelium as a resin. After classroom experiments, Greensulate was born. In addition to  decreasing the environmental impact of conventional polystyrene foams, this invention also created a whole new paradigm where composite materials were literally grown, harnessing the efficiency of nature.

Shortly after its founding, the company won small grants from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). This funding was used to create initial samples of the material. This proof of concept enabled the company to win bigger grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further develop the products. Ecovative products embody the cradle-to-cradle philosophy, and every aspect­the source materials, the production process, the product’s route to market and its end-of-use impact­is geared toward efficiency, sustainability, and environmental responsibility.

The IEM Lecture Series is supported by the Joel Omura Kurihara Fund. For more information about the lecture series, please contact Melanie Quigley, program coordinator, at 203.432.6953 or Melanie.quigley@yale.edu.

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