Full marks to…
…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