With support from Waitrose & Partners and Power To Change, Biohm’s team was able to evolve four strains of mycelium that are able to consume plastics, including Polyurethane (PU), Polyethylene (PE), Polystyrene (PS) and Polyester (PET). We have developed techniques that enable the mycelium to break down plastics into sugars, benign hydrocarbons, and carbon dioxide. The sugars and hydrocarbons are consumed by the mycelium and the carbon dioxide is transformed into oxygen using photosynthesising organisms.
As the mycelium breaks down the plastics, it releases enzymes as well as a range of 'by-products' that can be used by the pharmaceutical industry for drug discovery explorations and the production of natural antibiotics. With the support of the Biomimicry Institute, Biohm’s team is now developing this biotechnology further by integrating bacteria into the process to build a synthetic consortia that can remediate a wide range of highly problematic toxins in addition to plastics.
Biohm has worked with BUPA to explore the bioremediation of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), such as face masks and gloves with great success. Biohm has also worked with a FTSE100 property developer to render polystyrene unrecognisable as a plastic under chemical analysis after only 28 days of exposure to the fungal strains. When scaled in conventional bioreactors, the bioremediation of plastics and other toxins creates valuable 'by-products' for various industries at high volumes.
Fashion 'Waste' | Plastics + Chemicals Bioremediation
Pharma + Healthcare 'Waste' | Plastic Bioremediation
Construction + Other 'Waste' | Plastics + Toxins Bioremediation