She dubs the material Mestic, from mest, the Dutch word for manure. While people have sought to manage No. 2 before, Essaïdi says this is the first time “manure is being considered as a valuable resource.”
“In Germany, for instance, great advances have been made in the fermentation of manure into fertilizer; others have succeeded in turning manure into energy. Those are great initiatives, but they’re not very efficient,” she said in a statement. “And even at their peak performance, they are still only partial solutions. A true result would be to completely strip the manure and use the resultant cellulose to manufacture new, biomaterial products. And once you’ve made that step, you’ll notice: manure is worth its weight in gold.”
Using manure in this manner also allows us to ease up on other, less-abundant natural resources, such as trees, cotton, or oil: an environmental win-win.
All this served to herald an upcoming expansion of Essaïdi’s operations in the Moerdijk municipality, where Mestic’s first commercial products will roll off.
Eventually, Essaïdi says she wants to make Mestic suitable for three-dimensional printers, but “we have to tweak the melting temperatures first.”
As for Mestic’s immediate future, Essaïdi says it’s not just up to her. “We naturally want the Moerdijk scale-up to really start manufacturing a lot of stuff, but we will also license Mestic, allowing other parties to have a go at it,” she said. “After cows, we’ll tackle pigs. And after that? Who knows.”