Eggshell, Nutshell


Made in

Animal material 61 Biodegradable 228 Bioplastic 75 Board material 30 Composite 97 Plant-based 167 Eggshell 14 Nutshell 2

Eggshell, Nutshell

Photos: Rania Mazen Elkalla

Shell Homage

Shell Homage is a biodegradable composite material out of discarded eggs and different nut shells. The created biodegradable material is a replacement to using oil-based plastics and can be applied in several applications, such as interiors, light design, furniture design, home accessories, consumable goods, 3D printing and jewellery design. Aesthetically, it mimics marble or natural stones but is made from food waste. The material properties can be controlled according to the application. The material surface varies from rough to smooth, opaque, translucent to transparent.

The aim is to create functional and sustainable products that have a shorter life span and are completely biodegradable. Fabricating biomaterial based on natural materials such as eggs and nut shells without the use of toxic chemicals or binders, to develop viable products, which are compostable, as an alternative to plastics which do not decay.

The objects and materials developed aspire to educate and enlighten consumers about how and who made them and the ingredients they are made with. The idea is to work with a biopolymer and natural materials, experimenting with the unexpected effects created from these materials and production techniques, which will utilise high-tech and handmade techniques. Each piece is handcrafted into a unique combination of colours and patterns. It is 100% compostable when no longer in use.

Unique points about Shell Homage
* Use of a completely disregarded material (e.g. egg and nut shells)
* Produced material can be used in several industries and can be scaled up.
* Aesthetically appealing surfaces which look like marble or natural stones.
* Lightweight material.
* Fabricate biodegradable composite without toxic chemicals.
* Expand into different industries e.g. product design, interior design, consumable goods and jewellery design.

Additional information

The shells are collected from different farms, local stores, bakeries, restaurants, and nut stores. Before disposal, the shells are collected, sterilised, dried and then ground down. This material is then bonded with organic and biodegradable substances, creating a mixture that can be handled through different production techniques. It is a similar texture to stone or ceramic and can be machined, sanded or laser cut.

Some of the material is mixed with colours extracted from food ingredients. The created composite material can be pressed, extruded, 3D printed or formed by injection moulding. The end material’s properties can be controlled by the production method, creating end-results that range from hard to malleable, elastic sheets.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Egg, nut shells

Physical samples

0058-1, 0058-2, 0058-3
Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab