Soil Burial test mycelium insulation samples

Hello, for my thesis Exploring the end of life possibilities of mycelium composites I will research the biodegradation of mycelium composites.

Due to lack of apparature, a low-tech test will be applied: soil burial test. Before posting all my work, I will write down the methodology I will apply.

METHODOLOGY

  1. First test samples are approximately 50x50x25mm (bxlxh)
  2. Place all samples (5) in one container (plastic box) or buy seperate containers (ceramic flower pots)
  3. Weigh the samples. It is assumed that the weight of the samples are their dry weight
  4. Fill the containers with soil (universal soil used for indoor plants). Cover the sample with 10 cm above and under the samples
  5. Cover the containers with plastic foil, and daily maintain the pH of the soil to 7 and regulate the soil moisture
  6. Each week the samples will be retrieved, rinsed under destilled water, measured (bxlxh) and placed in an oven for 24-48h at 50-60°C to obtain the dry weight.
  7. samples are weighted and IR-analysis will be apllied.

This methodology is based on other papers where soil burial test have been applied to plastic. Therefore, in this methodology some question marks remain:

  • What is the ideal moisture content of the soil that should be regulated?
  • How long should the sample remain in the oven to obtain a dry weight?

I will update this post, when I have initiated the tests. In the meantime, I am searching for more information and equipment.

Cheers,
Li Li

What are you tracking exactly by using IR??

When researching other papers, I noticed SEM and IR-analysis were applied. I am hoping that through IR-analysis, it could give more information about what elements dissapear over time. However, I am very inexperienced in this field and will still need to figure out how to process the data. Do you think an IR-analysis is unnecessary?

Ps. thank you the fast reaction!

It is not unnecesary, but it does require that you understand what you are going to be looking for.

IR will not give elemental information, but bond information.

you will see cahnges in the types of bonds present, typically esters and amides that have broken into acids and amines. The SEM and IR are still happenning at FYSC?

Hello Lili,
I am starting my master thesis project now on Mycelium. I am interesting on exploring the possibilities of steering mycelium according to the ph level of the substrate. I was wondering if you already made some research about the topic, and if you could eventually share them.
cheers,

Claudia

SEM and IR are normally still happening at FYSC. I know that there is apparatus to do so. I don’t know if it is still actively used. The only person I know of using IR, is a friend of mine also working on mycelium composites.

Ps. Thank you for the insights, I will discuss it with my assistant :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Li Li

Hi Claudia,

Unfortunately, I have not produced mycelium composite samples myself as of yet. The samples I will use are from Elise Van den Elsacker, one of the PhD-researchers assisting me in my journey. I will ask my other assistant (whom I’m meeting today), if she know anything related to your subject :slight_smile:

Good luck! May the force of research be with you!
Cheers,
Li Li

Dear Claudia,

I have just returned from my appointment with a mycelium researcher. Apparently, if I understood it correctly the lower the pH the better the reaction of the fungal strain with the substrate. I hope this helps :slight_smile:

Good luck!
Cheers,
Li Li