Innovation That Matters

Instead of Styrofoam, milk proteins and clay


All the many environmental offenses that have been committed by Styrofoam over the years have made it a prime candidate for replacement by an eco-friendly alternative. That’s a big part of the motivation behind Ecovative’s Greensulate, which we covered back in 2008, and it’s also a key factor underlying the creation of AeroClay. AeroClay is a Styrofoam substitute that’s formulated using an eco-friendly, water-based chemistry incorporating clay and polymer blends. Known for its extremely low density and high air content — it’s roughly 95 to 99 percent air by volume — AeroClay is based on a patented technology developed at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. First, clay is dispersed in water and mixed with milk-based polymers; then, it’s poured into a mold and freeze-dried. In addition to being lightweight and made from readily available materials, AeroClay is also biodegradable. After being compressed, it springs back to its original shape. Perhaps best of all is that by manipulating the manufacturing processes and materials used, AeroClay products can be produced with a variety of different properties and a wide range of possible uses. One to test out for your next green-minded venture…? Spotted by: Ken Green



Download PDF