Feeds

Dell samples shrooms for server shipping

Magic mushroom packaging

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Dell will begin shipping its PowerEdge R710 rack server in übergreen packaging made from – wait for it – mushrooms.

"While it sounds unusual, this is an advanced biotechnology," writes Dell procurement director Oliver Campbell on the Direct2Dell blog, calling mushroom packaging "a way to utilize common agricultural waste products such as cotton, rice, and wheat chaff to replace styrofoam and polyethylene used as cushioning for packaging and other applications."

Not that the packaging will be made solely from cotton, rice, and wheat chaff. Rather, mushroom mycelium will be grown in and bind with those agricultural by-poducts to create the packaging..

Although Campbell's blog post did not specifically mention the supplier of their magical mushroom tech, the process of growing the packaging material that he described is identical to that used by Ecovative Design in its EcoCradle packaging system.

Ecovative Design touts EcoCradle as being "at the forefront of the bio-materials revolution," and praises fungi as "playing an indispensable role in breaking down organic matter and [being] key to planetary health."

In the EcoCradle process, says Ecovative Design, "This mycelium grows around agricultural by-products like buckwheat husks, oat hulls, or cotton burrs to any shape we make. In 5 - 7 days, in the dark, with no watering, and no petrochemical inputs, the mycelium envelops the by-products, binding them into a strong and beautiful packaging part."

Beauty, of course, is in the green eye of the beholder – but Ecovative Design is certainly high on mushroom stats. "Inside every cubic inch of EcoCradle, there's a matrix of 8 miles of tiny mycelial fibers!", they write.

And don't worry about spreading fungi throughout your data center. "At the end of the process," Ecovative Design writes, "we treat EcoCradle with heat to stop the growth so there will never be any spores."

Dell's pilot program will up the green ante by using the company's Multipack packaging: four PowerEdge R710s will be nestled into the same container, each protected by mushroom mycelium–based cushioning.

Campbell assures Dell's customers that the mushroom packaging is more than up to the task of protecting its PowerEdge R710s. "We've tested the mushroom cushioning extensively in the lab to ensure it meets our same high standards to safely protect our products during shipment – and it passed like a champ." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.