Biosporin

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Biosporin is a trademarked biomaterial based on growing Ganoderma lucidum fungi, and a staple product of the startup company White Lemur from Serbia. Its physical properties make it a green substitute for expanded polystyrene in the production of single-use packaging. Biosporin is produced within a fully circular process of growing organic fungi, used as medical supplementation for immunity.

Name of Material in the local and Latin language
BiosporinTM
Type of Material
Organic
Major Industrial Producers or Suppliers
White Lemur

Colour
Gradient from white to yellow, depending on the used feedstock.
Hardness
Depending on the feedstock its hardness varies from porous to firm.
Melting/Boiling Point
Inflammable
Solubility
Water insoluble
Chemical Composition
The material is composed from agricultural waste and Ganoderma lucidum fungi grown in single-sized moulds. Ganoderma lucidum contains acetamide, oleic acid, butane-1,2,3,4-tetrol, monomethyl azelate, undecane, and palmitic acid. The material primarily consists of chitin and chitosan, the building blocks of the cell walls of fungi.

Industrial and Crafts Applications
Biosporin is a green substitute for expanded polystyrene used for single-use packaging and is currently used for the production of Soma Yoga Block and several prototypes of single-use packaging. Its characteristics as a material make it suitable for use in diverse industries as it has similar properties to expanded polystyrene: it does not degrade in storage conditions, it is shock-resistant and light-weight, with a significant improvement – it is inflammable. Its production is still significantly more expensive than that of its polluting counterpart, so its wide application can be foreseen in the future with the ban of Styrofoam as single-use packaging material.
Historical or Cultural Uses
Ganoderma lucidum is an indispensable part of Chinese traditional medicine, and only recently its beneficial effects have been proven and recognized by the Western medicine (it is slowly becoming a mandatory remedy for oncological patients). Fungal mycelia has been considered as the base for creating biomaterials and extracts for biomaterial production since the 1980s. The conducted research predominantly examined it as a substitute in medical research and industry, serving, for example, as a skin substitute. Today, the focus is placed on researching and applying it in construction and architecture, and as a possible solution, on replacing Styrofoam as single-use packaging.
Environmental Impact
Biosporin has a positive environmental impact as it is fully degradable into an organic fertilizer in four to six months after disposal. Additionally, its production is carbon negative, it produces no wastewater and uses 98% less energy than the production of expanded polystyrene.
Innovative or Emerging Applications
It is being prototyped and implemented as single-use packaging.

Extraction Methods
Biosporin is grown and not necessarily extracted in traditional terms. It is grown within the Cradle-to-Cradle design process. In the first stage, the fungi are processed, crushed and inoculated, and then placed in moulds to be grown. In the process lignin and cellulose are transformed from feedstock into polymers, to be finally dried and additionally shaped according to the requirements.
Processing Techniques
Biosporin can be created in any shape or form, depending on the need, as it is grown within moulds from biodegradable plastic. When dried, it is additionally shaped according to specific demands.
Sustainability and Environmental Considerations
Biosporin is created within a fully circular growing process, where no additional waste is crated, but only used as feedstock for the fungal colony.
Recycling and Waste Management
Biosporin is biodegradable within the timespan of 4 to 6 months, turning into organic fertilizer – it is not only unpolluting, but it can serve in the process of regreening.

Interesting Facts or Historical Anecdotes
Alongside other physical properties, its inflammatory characteristic makes Biosporin a highly functioning substitute for Styrofoam as single-use packaging, and thus a more viable option. Additionally, as the agricultural waste that is used as feedstock is currently being burned and therefore producing large amounts of pollution (especially in developing countries), this can be seen as a solution for circular production that significantly lowers carbon footprint.
Current Research and Developments
Within the White Lemur startup company, which trademarked the material, a considerable number of prototyping processes is taking place. However, due to its production still being significantly more expensive than the production of its polluting counterpart, a political and societal decision on banning Styrofoam packaging needs to be made first if future developments are to allow its wider use. At the Institute Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy it is being tested with different types of bio coatings that would provide it with a higher level of water resistance and therefore make it applicable in the construction industry.
Regulations or Restrictions
EU Bioeconomy Strategy (2018) EU Plastics Strategy (2018) EU Green Deal (2019) Single-Use Plastics Directive (2019) incl. restrictions on oxo-degradable plastics New EU Circular Economy Action Plan (2020) EU Climate Law (2021) & EU Taxonomy (2020) Sustainable Carbon Cycles (2021) Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive (revision 2022) EU Regulation on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods (2022) Substantiating Claims on environmental performance (2022) Sustainable Products Initiative (2022) / Proposal for a new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation Policy Framework for biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics (2022) Waste Framework Directive (revision 2023)
Relevant Organizations, Associations, Producers
Biosporin is trademarked as a material by the White Lemur company, and therefore they can be considered as the exclusive producer of the material.
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Supported by
  • Ministarstvo kulture