Full marks to…

Business Spotlight - - ISRAEL / US -

…ma­te­ri­als sci­en­tists, for find­ing new ways to use nat­u­ral fi­bres to make the build­ings, cars and planes of the fu­ture.

Dr Mo­hamed Saafi of Lan­caster Univer­sity, Eng­land, for ex­am­ple, is mix­ing tiny par­ti­cles of carrots with ce­ment to cre­ate ex­tremely strong con­crete. The Econ­o­mist re­ports that what Saafi and his col­leagues call “nanoplatelets” have been re­moved from carrots thrown out by su­per­mar­kets or food-pro­cess­ing plants. The Fin­nish forestry com­pany Stora Enso has de­vel­oped an al­ter­na­tive to con­ven­tional plas­tics. Its new ma­te­rial, called Durasense, is made from wood fi­bres, in­clud­ing lignin, an or­ganic poly­mer con­tained in wood pulp and pro­duced in the mak­ing of pa­per. Stora Enso says that adding wood fi­bres can re­duce the amount of con­ven­tional plas­tic needed in man­u­fac­tur­ing by 60 per cent. The com­pany is also ex­per­i­ment­ing with us­ing lignin to re­place oil­based resins and ad­he­sives, which are found in a va­ri­ety of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing ply­wood.

Mean­while, Drs Liang­bing Hu and Teng Li of the Univer­sity of Mary­land are re­mov­ing lignin from blocks of wood to cre­ate a ma­te­rial that is stronger than many met­als — and bul­let­proof. In fu­ture, the two sci­en­tists be­lieve, such ma­te­rial will be used to build houses, fur­ni­ture and even cars.

Full marks to... [)ful (ma:ks tu] Die Best­note er­hält ...

ad­he­sive [Ed(hi:siv] Klebe­mit­tel

bul­let­proof [(bu­lit­pru:f] kugel­sicher

con­crete [(kqnkri:t] Be­ton

food-pro­cess­ing plant [(fu:d )preusesin pla:nt] Ver­ar­beitungsan­lage der Lebens­mit­telin­dus­trie

forestry com­pany [(fqristri )kvm­peni] Forstwirtschaft­sun­ternehmen

nanoplatelet [(näneu)pleit­let] Nanoplättchen

nat­u­ral fi­bre [)näts&rel (faibe] Natur­faser

ply­wood [(plai­wud] Sper­rholz

resin [(rezin] Harz; hier auch: Kun­stharz

wood pulp [(wud pvlp] Zell­stoff

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