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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCING PROFITABILITY & SUSTAINABILITY UPLAND COTTON, COTTONSEED, & COTTON BYPROD THROUGH IMPRVMNTS IN HARVESTING, GINNING, & MECH PROCESS

Location: Cotton Production and Processing Research

Title: An evaluation study of mycelium based acoustic absorbers grown on agricultural by-product substrates

Authors
item Pelletier, Mathew
item Holt, Gregory
item Wanjura, John
item Bayer, E -
item Mcintyre, G -

Research conducted cooperatively with:
item

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 5, 2013
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Citation: Pelletier, M.G., Holt, G.A., Wanjura, J.D., Bayer, E., Mcintyre, G. 2013. An evaluation study of mycelium based acoustic absorbers grown on agricultural by-product substrates. Industrial Crops and Products. 51:480-485.

Interpretive Summary: Research was conducted on the potential utilization of biomass acoustic absorbers that utilize mycelium, from the phylum of Basidiomycetes, to bind the biomass into a structural board that can be grown in molds into a variety of useful shapes. Biomass constituents that were tested were semi-hydrophobic substrates such as cotton by-products, leaves, sticks, and cotton burs and other low cost agricultural by-products such as switch-grass, rice straw, sorghum stalks, flax shive, kenaf, and hemp. Acoustics testing, in accordance to ISO standard 10534-1, suggests superior performance of the composite boards at loudest annoyance frequency of 1000Hz which also correlates to the frequency at which automotive road generated noise peaks. As such, this new material is likely to be suitable for automotive use provided other criteria, such as wear and manufacturing constraints, can be satisfied. A further advantage provided by this new material is that it can be produced economically in comparison to the traditional petroleum based foams with the further advantage of biodegradation when the product is disposed of at its end-of-life use.

Technical Abstract: This research examines the use of a novel new renewable resource in acoustic absorption applications. The material under test is based on the fruiting body of fungi, a mushroom, in the phylum of Basidiomycetes, which are grown on semi-hydrophobic substrates such as cotton by-products, leaves, sticks, cotton burs, and other low cost agricultural by-products such as switch-grass, rice straw, sorghum stalks, flax shive, kenaf, and hemp. The testing of the material for use in acoustics utilized an impedance tube and measured the standing wave ratios in accordance to ISO standard 10534-1. The results of the study indicate the mycelium based boards provided a significant performance improvement in comparison to the absorption provided by a standard foam insulation board and provides improvements at the key automotive road noise frequency of 1000Hz. A further advantage provided by this new material is that it can be produced economically in comparison to the traditional petroleum based foams with the further advantage of biodegradation when the product is disposed of at its end-of-life use.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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