A lightbulb moment. Transparent wood was first introduced as an alternative to glass or plastic in 2016.
To create the see-through material, lignin – the component in wood that absorbs most light – is removed.
The resulting pores need to be filled to reinforce the wood again. Until recently that was achieved with synthetic polymers from non-renewable raw materials.
But now a Swedish research team has used peel waste from citrus fruits to create an alternative.
The new limonene acrylate not only increases the durability of the treated wood, but provides optical transmittance of 90%.
The addition of nanoparticles could lead to the production of smart windows, or wood with an in-built lighting function.