Imagine cutting down mature forests at the height of their carbon sequestration, then processing those trees and binding them together with petrochemical glues, leaving them toxic to work with, and with no recyclability or clear path to circularity. This is exactly what we do with Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). At Decarbonite we are finding a better way.
MDF is loved for its workability and relatively inexpensive cost, and its popularity has led to an almost unimaginable scale. In 2023 the world consumed 113 Million cubic meters of MDF and this growth is estimated to compound 7% each year through 2030. That is a lot of unsustainable material coming into the world, right when we need to be laser focused on sustainability.
Through our processes, from materials to production, we look to create a fully carbon negative product. But we're not done, Decarbonite materials are helpful to the environment, even at the end of their life, locking in carbon and supporting nature.
Instead of virgin wood stock, our panels are made from fast growing hemp and agricultural waste and off-cuts that would normally be left to rot or burn. We then use an innovative algae based binder in this patent-pending composite.
Decarbonite's proprietary manufacturing process results in an MDF alternative that is unique and beautiful, easy to work with, and free from toxic chemicals. Additionally the composite locks in 2X its mass in CO2.
After its useful life, Decarbonite can be chipped up to be put back into the ground, restoring soils, supporting growth of future sustainable materials and completing this regenerative cycle.
Founder & Inventor
You've got questions, we've got answers. Explore some of the conversations around Decarbonite.
Dan Ellis is an industrial designer with a background in environmental science and technology, who developed Decarbonite during his MA in Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins in London. During his research process he worked on hundreds of material explorations and prototypes, generously supported by materials scientists, researchers, and architects & designers.
Dan won the 1851 Royal commission Studentship — a prestigious grant awarded to 10 industrial design and engineering students in the UK, and he was also awarded the Rodney Fitch Scholarship for his MA work, that financially supported his research and the product's development.
The material development is now supported by a grant from The Greenhouse, and Imperial College funded Climate Start-up Accelerator, preparing the company for mass production of the material.
Material prototypes have been well recieved by architects and product designers, eager to use the material in their design and construction practices.
We grow crops all over the world and throughout the year. Plants grow by converting the CO2 in the atmosphere into their mass, this is why large organisms like trees sequester a lot of CO2. But when we harvest crops, we only keep a small part of the plant's mass to eat; say for example the cob of a corn plant. Then we either allow the husks to decompose, releasing the CO2 back into the atmosphere, or we burn them. Crop burning actually accounts for 3.5% of total GHG emissions, more than aviation and shipping combined.
If a product removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces, it is said to be carbon negative. Decarbonite is engineered to contain large amounts of pure carbon, making it deeply carbon negative. So much so, that it removes double its mass in CO2 from the atmosphere.
We're working on it! Decarbonite is currently undergoing further testing and prototyping in preperation for commercial availability. Subscribe to our newsletter below to keep upto date on the latest progress and developments.
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