Drawing on what’s already there. It’s an increasingly popular approach when it comes to material innovations. Take coconut husks, for example.
Now a design student from Illinois has developed a material, the color and grain of which resembles tropical wood.
The key ingredient is cellulose, which is produced when Kombucha is made. A waste product, it is created by bacteria and forms a sheet on the liquid.
These sheets can be removed, mixed to a smooth pulp and combined with an algae-based gel. After being hardened and pressed, the finished material can be treated like wood – and used for guitar picks or jewelry.
Larger-scale projects are planned. In contrast to other alternatives, the material is wood-free and biodegradable.