€2 million EU grant for Brussels-based PermaFungi

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The Brussels cooperative PermaFungi has signed an agreement with the European Union for a two million euro grant. The agricultural cooperative announced this on Monday.

The money will cover 60 per cent of the cost of installing a production line that can produce five tonnes of mycomaterials a month. These are sustainable and biodegradable materials created from organic waste to which mycelium has been added and which can be used, for example, as packaging or insulation material. In the medium term, PermaFungi is considering other applications, such as coffins and funerary urns.

PermaFungi has been producing oyster mushrooms in Brussels since 2013, based on old coffee grit that is reused as a nutrient for the mushrooms. In a next phase, and after years of research and development, the residual flow from oyster mushroom cultivation is now being transformed into myc material. This mushroom material, which can replace plastic, produces ten times less carbon dioxide (CO2) and consumes about eight times less energy than the production of polystyrene foam.

The cooperative now needs to find funding for the remaining 40 per cent of the cost of the new production line by the end of this year, as well as a 1,000m2 space to house the production line.

By 2025, the Brussels-based cooperative aims to become the leader in the production of mycomaterials in Europe.


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© BELGA PHOTO DANIEL JOSLING - In the cellars of the historic Royal Customs Depot in Brussels, oyster mushrooms are grown from coffee waste. The Belgian company Permafungi then uses the leftovers to produce insulating panels, lampshades or packaging materials.

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