Mechanical and Air Permeability Performance of Novel Biobased Materials from Fungal Hyphae and Cellulose Fibers
Materials 2021
Inese Filipova, Ilze Irbe, Mārtiņš Spāde, Mārīte Škute, Inga Dāboliņa, Ilze Baltiņa, Linda Vecbiškena

Novel biobased materials from fungal hyphae and cellulose fibers have been proposed to address the increasing demand for natural materials in personal protective equipment (PPE). Materials containing commercially available kraft fibers (KF), laboratory-made highly fibrillated hemp fibers (HF) and fungal fibers (FF) obtained from fruiting bodies of lignicolous basidiomycetes growing in nature were prepared using paper production techniques and evaluated for their mechanical and air permeability properties. SEM and microscopy revealed the network structure of materials. The tensile index of materials was in the range of 8–60 Nm/g and air permeability ranged from 32–23,990 mL/min, depending on the composition of materials. HF was the key component for strength; however, the addition of FF to compositions resulted in higher air permeability. Chemical composition analysis (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) revealed the presence of natural polysaccharides, mainly cellulose and chitin, as well as the appropriate elemental distribution of components C, H and N. Biodegradation potential was proven by a 30-day-long composting in substrate, which resulted in an 8–62% drop in the C/N ratio. Conclusions were drawn about the appropriateness of fungal hyphae for use in papermaking-like technologies together with cellulose fibers. Developed materials can be considered as an alternative to synthetic melt and spun-blown materials for PPE.

fungal fibers; cellulose fibers; microstructure; mechanical properties; air permeability; biodegradation; mushroom paper

Filipova, I., Irbe, I., Spāde, M., Škute, M., Dāboliņa, I., Baltiņa, I., Vecbiškena, L. Mechanical and Air Permeability Performance of Novel Biobased Materials from Fungal Hyphae and Cellulose Fibers. Materials, 2021, Vol. 14, No. 1, Article number 136. ISSN 1996-1944. Available from: doi:10.3390/ma14010136

Publication language
English (en)
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