BC post-processing mechanical comparison protocols


Hello everyone!

(small re-intro of what I’m doing: I’m an architectural engineering student at VUB researching bacterial cellulose’s mechanical properties in an architectural context for my master thesis under @Elise’s supervision .)
First growings and experiments:

Other experiments:

my last post was about my first cellulose growing experiments (and issues). Still had a lot of contaminations since then but 2 weeks ago for some magical reason 4 large plates started developing cellulose instead of yeast for the first time! So now I’m finally facing my first mechanical tensile tests on BC-sheets, which will be in two weeks.

For these mechanical tests I want to compare a range of post-processing protocols. I have collected some ideas and protocols from different sources (this forum, some academic papers, from the web or from Elise). I placed the protocols in this googles sheet link and screenshot so that you can consult it and give comments. A first sheet has a broader literature overview of production routines, the second sheet (=screenshot) has the protocols I selected from this literature which I want to try for my tests.
By the end of the week I will harvest the sheets of BC, then I have one week to apply the post processing before the testing week

I’m working on making this post-processing overview a bit larger and making the protocols more precise, but I have some questions

  • @Gammarra I have two processes which I found on one of your posts on post-processing of mycelium. Unfortunately I cant see the links you placed there, could you enlighten me a bit more on what you did there, how you did it and what the results were? And whether I could try them for bacterial cellulose too?

  • has anyone some input on other post-processing ideas which I could include? I mainly aim at producing a ductile and strong material, ways to achieve water-resistance or to improve mechanical strength.

If someone is interested in spending some time reading more on what I’m doing, in this google drive link I placed a pdf of my WIP (beware, very WIP!!) writing. Also not everything I did up untill now is included yet, but comments are of course very welcome.

thank you for reading me and looking forward to some input!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Master Thesis by Bastien Damsin, Under supervision of Elise Elsacker, Prof. Lars De Laet and Prof. Eveline Peeters / Vrije Universiteit Brussel / Department of Architectural Engineering and Bioengineering Sciences.

BC - creating seams between cellulose sheets
Bacterial cellulose in architecture - culture comparison, composites, contamination

Sure so here it goes

ethylene glycol: I submerged mycelium pieces in ethyleneglycol for 48 hours, took out rinsed and dried at 65C in a convection oven for another 48h
(this is the standard glassware drying setup in my lab)

Mycelium pieces: were grown on aligned fibers and all post po0rcessign was done after that mycelium was already baked dry, I think.

After the treatment pieces were more pliable.

Suggested changes:
Do a weight before and after to measure uptake.
Dont rinse dry, but press dry if you can ( mechanical, several Pascals kind of pressing, hot press is even better), this will promote more crosslinking if any is happening.

Ethylene glycol: choline chloride is a mixture done in molar equivalents 2:1 (120:140 in g) this is stirred and heated at 60 degrees until a clear liquid is produced.

The same procedure as for ethylene glycol was done.

I did try at home for bacterial cellulose, there is an increase in plasticity but I couldnt get it to fully dry.

since you are doing BC, there is a popular paper on lignin removal using high pressure and and temperature NaOH bath. ( cannot find it now)


super, thanks. I’ll post the results on the forum later on.



I don’t know if this categorizes under post-processing, but here’s what I tried:

I airdried the BC, ground it up, resoaked it and made shapes with it. I then let it airdry again. I’ve read that this causes hornification (forming more irreversible H-bonds), thus creating harder but more brittle shapes with each time this cycle is repeated. Scroll down to my post/log here to see the little experiments:

Make sure you reduce the sugar content in the liquid. I suspect it to inhibit the properties I found earlier, as my recent BC’s remained quite malleable and sticky and did not dry properly.


Hi @bdamsin,

Wow, what a great work! Really well documented.

Could you link all your posts together, maybe by starting with a link to your previous posts:

And your follow up post:

It’s easier for us to follow all your work when you connect it :wink:

I’ll take some time in the upcoming days to read it all.


thanks! Good idea, I placed the links in all posts now :slight_smile: