Bengaluru-based start-up Mynusco has created a biomaterials platform for a circular bio-economy helping farmers create value out of their crop residue and companies manufacture finished products using sustainable biocomposite materials.

Mynusco is manufacturing a wide range of biomaterial pellets using crop residues such as coffee husk, paddy straw and husk and bamboo waste sourced from agarbatti manufacturers among others. The creation of a biomaterials platform would help scale up its operations and connect to more converters, who create various products using its biocomposite materials.

Reducing carbon footprint

The products made using such biocomposite materials are used in automotive, houseware and furniture industry among others displacing plastics and thereby reducing carbon footprint and helping fight climate change, Mahadev Chikkanna, Founder and CEO, Mynusco said. The company was previously known as Spectalite.

“Sustainable materials alone cannot fight the climate change. We need true partnerships across different stakeholders with commitment to sustainability goals in order to achieve meaningful results. That is why we have created a platform for biomaterials where we inspire, educate, learn-from and encourage OEMs, converters, research organisations to collaborate in developing truly sustainable solutions,” Chikkanna said.

India produces over 500 million tonnes of crop waste every year and about 2/3rd of this is either burnt or discarded resulting in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. “Instead of burning, if we find novel ways to use crop-waste, we can potentially arrest 25 per cent of India’s carbon emissions,” he said adding that Mynusco has also been working with almond shells, banana fibre and pine needles among others. Chikkanna further said that the use of crop residue to make bio-materials has the potential to have a positive impact on the farmers increasing their incomes for each harvest.

The company has processed about 120 tonnes of crop residue after it commercialised its technologies in 2019 and has prevented about 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, Chikkanna said.

Mynusco has a biomaterials processing capacity of 100 tonnes per month and is currently in the process of scaling it up to 250 tonnes at its facility in Bidadi near Bengaluru. “Our objective is to increase the biocontent and make these products adapatable,” he said adding that creation of awareness is the biggest challenge faced by the company.

Replacing platics

Chikkanna said that Mynusco is enabling the transition of plastics economy into a sustainable future. About 4.5 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions are caused from making, using and disposing of plastics. Converters of plastic material into products can now use biomaterials from Mynusco to replace plastics with minimal or no change to their current mould and machinery. This creates a significant opportunity for plastics economy to seamlessly shift to a more sustainable business.

Mynusco is looking to extend collaboration with manufacturers of toys, gardenware, houseware, hospitality and furniture among others. The company is also leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to maximise value and make the best material choices.

About 15 per cent of the products made using Mynusco’s biomaterials by various manufacturers are exported, Chikkanna said. “There is good appreciation and demand for products manufactured using bio-composite materials in the developed economies,” he added.