Transparent wood to replace plastic

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Transparent wood to replace plastic

Plastic has now become a dangerous material, whether for the environment or for humans. But the problem is that plastic is used in almost all sectors, especially in industry. In order to be able to reduce the use of this material, it is thus necessary find an eco-friendly alternative. Scientists reported creating a biodegradable material that could replace both plastic and glass. It’s about “transparent wood”.

Transparent wood is a futuristic new material that could reduce the ecological impacts of environmentally harmful building materials. And obviously, its use could enable a significant reduction in the use of plastic.

transparent wood
Credits Anish M. Chathoth

According to Prodyut Dhar, assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, and co-author of the study, transparent wood can replace harmful petroleum-based plastics. These plastics include, for example, polypropylene, PVC, or even polyethylene.

The manufacture of transparent wood

Transparent wood was originally invented in 1992 by the German scientist Siegfried Fink. But over the years, many changes and improvements were made by scientists.

According to information, this unusual wood is made by removing a natural polymer called lignin. This polymer must then be replaced with special transparent plastic materials. The authors of this new study reported that the method that uses sodium chlorite to remove the lignin, then epoxy to replace the latter less environmental impact than standard methods.

A technology to improve

At the moment, it is not yet to be expected that transparent wood will replace plastic and glass on all construction sites. Scientists say they are still finding a means of increasing production of the material economically.

Moreover, according to the end-of-life analysis, transparent wood is still less environmentally friendly than glassbut he is less harmful to the environment than the production of polyethylene. For scientists, this indicates production technology still needs to be improved.

According to Anish Chathoth, assistant professor at Kerala Agricultural University, lately, transparent wood has been used in construction, electronics, for storing energy, and for packaging goods. He added that with the problems caused by petroleum-based plastic materials, transparent wood has a role to play in maintaining environmental stability.

SOURCE: Futuristic

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