Transparent Tree Material Can Substitute Plastic and Glass

Transparent Tree: A Revolutionary Material with Numerous Applications

The scientific discovery that translates modern materials to a new level was made more than thirty years ago by the German botanist Siegfried Funk, who first created a transparent tree. Today, after perennial experiments, this material is acquiring more and more practical applications.

Groups of researchers from Sweden, the USA, and China are engaged in the development and improvement of this unique material. In particular, Lars Berglund from the Swedish Royal Technological Institute explores the use of a transparent tree as a stronger alternative to plastic.

A transparent tree with a unique structure can be used in various fields. It is three times stronger than transparent plastics, such as Plexiglas, and ten times harder than glass. These qualities make it ideal for use in smartphones, soft lamps, and even as a structural element, for example, in windows that can change color.

In addition, the possibilities of using a transparent tree in architecture are being studied, especially as windows. This material has excellent thermal insulation properties, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

The developers are also exploring the possibilities of creating “smart” windows that can change their transparency under the influence of electricity. Such windows can switch between transparent and dark states, regulating visibility and sunlight.

But despite all its advantages, the transparent tree is still inferior to glass in terms of environmental consequences at the end of the life cycle. Scientists are working on the creation of more environmentally friendly production methods, including the use of biopolymers obtained from citrus fruits, and more energy-efficient ways of discoloration of lignin.

Researchers are confident in the potential of a transparent tree as a sustainable material and call for acceleration of production and implementation in the mass market. As the scientist Chelin Montanari emphasized, the purpose of the scientific community is not only the achievement of characteristics comparable to fossil materials, but also their superiority.

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