This transparent wood replaces plastic, and is 100% recyclable | Life

Wooden furniture has hardly changed in hundreds of years, beyond the design. But soon we will find a new type of transparent wood in places as diverse as windowpanes.

Wood has many properties, and has contributed to the evolution of society for centuries, providing us with houses, furniture and tools. But if there is one thing that wood lacks, it is transparency. Up to now…

For years several laboratories have been working on different types of transparent wood, capable of heating a room or providing light.

The problem with this wood is that it used chemical products to achieve transparency, which are not ecological. But this has changed when discovering a substance in the orange peel that makes it possible to make transparent 100% recyclable wood:

Céline Montanari, a student at the Royal KTH Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, explains how the process works.

To get transparent wood what is done is to extract all the lignin from the wood, an organic polymer that gives it its color, rigidity and ability to absorb light.

This process produces a porous wood. To achieve transparency, a chemical polymer is applied, which prevents the material from being 100% recyclable.

The Royal Institute of Technology KTH has solved the problem replacing the chemical compound with a natural substance that you have found in orange peel. Specifically, it is a monomer called limonene.

With this new composition it is achieved a wood with a transparency similar to plastic, but 100% recyclable. The optical transmittance (transparency) reaches 90% with a thickness of 1.2mm, and in addition the wood is stronger and more elastic than the previous version. It is prepared for industrial use.

Ergonomic gaming design chair but perfect for spending many hours in front of the computer. With headrest, adjustable armrests and lumbar cushion. The backrest tilts up to 160º.

Best of all, it preserves the properties of previous transparent woods: the possibility of generating light and heat.

“We have observed where the light goes and what happens when it hits the cellulose”, explains Professor Lars Berglund. “Part of the light goes directly through the wood and makes the material transparent. Another part of the light is refracted and scattered at different angles and produces nice effects in lighting applications.”

Surely very soon we will begin to see products made with transparent wood in our homes.

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