Why wood pulp is world's new wonder material

Will Ferguson, writing for New Scientist:

[Nanocrystalline cellulose] will replace metal and plastic car parts and could make nonorganic plastics obsolete in the not-too-distant future, says Phil Jones, director of new ventures and disruptive technologies at the French mineral processing company IMERYS. “Anyone who makes a car or a plastic bag will want to get in on this,” he says.

Scientists have known about nanocrystalline cellulose, or NCC, for a while now. The news here is that the U.S. Forest Service’s has built a factory to produce the stuff. It’s cheap, strong, and renewable. The article says tech, auto, and defense companies are curious about NCC, but think of what architects are going to do once they get their hands on the stuff. 

(Aside: NCC is transparent. Yes, my fellow Star Wars nerds, transparisteel is real. It just happens to be made from wood.)

Thanks to the support of readers like you, Per Square Mile remains independent and ad-free.

If you enjoy what you read, please consider supporting the site with a donation.

opening times