Mycelium, or the vegetative component of fungus’ such as mushrooms, is made up of thread-like structures known as hyphae. Now, thanks to new research, it has now also found a new use in environmentally-friendly acoustic insulation materials.

Acoustic insulation is mostly made of synthetic or mineral-based materials which are not readily recyclable, while their production processes too may also be less than eco-friendly.

These are just some of the reasons what led Instead, scientists at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology to turn to mycelium.

With the hyphae forming into a free-standing solid, the material was dried in a high-temperature kiln, killing the fungus in order to keep it from growing further.

The result was a porous open-cell structure that can then be utilised for soundproofing.

Furthermore, by then adding this mixture to a substrate consisting of straw, wood fibres, and food manufacturing waste, the researchers then 3D-printed this mixture into whatever shape they needed.

The end result was a material made entirely from renewable, biodegradable ingredients that can be manufactured absorbing sound in arrange of applications such as buildings or automobiles

Image: Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology