Popular Science News | Wood the New Wonder Material

Popular Science News – every now and then I read an article which makes me think that scientists cannot see the wood for the trees. Usually the search for new materials has scientists delving into the far reaches of science but when I hear that a new material is being made from sawdust, I am heartened. For a start, wood is renewable.

Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) has uses which range from the manufacture of electronic components to body armour. NCC is 8 times as strong as stainless steel, transparent and the most exciting property of all, it is cheap to manufacture. The expectation is that NCC will be sold for around $5 a kilo within the next two years and will, for example, be used to replace the plastic and metal parts in cars.  The hope is that it will eventually replace the non-biodegradable plastics which are beginning to clog up the environment. Plus, being made from wood, its manufacture will have minimal impact on the environment, unlike conventional plastics.

Source: New Scientist 18/8/2012

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