Three decades ago, German botanist Zigfrid Fink laid the foundation for a scientific breakthrough — the creation of transparent wood. Today, an international team from Sweden, the United States, and China is refining this material, pushing the boundaries of its applications.
It is three times stronger than Plexiglas and ten times harder than glass, making it an ideal material for various products, from smartphones to structural elements. The material's potential extends to architecture, particularly in crafting energy-efficient windows. Researchers are even exploring its use in "smart" windows that can adjust transparency electrically.
Despite its strength, transparent wood currently falls short in terms of ecological impact. Researchers are actively working on sustainable production methods, including using biopolymers from citrus peels and more energy-efficient lignin bleaching processes.
The transparent wood's potential impact echoes the principles of SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). The ongoing research and development in transparent wood exemplify the potential of scientific advancements to shape a sustainable future, providing innovative solutions for industries and urban development.
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