Sawdust can be 3D printed into kitchen utensils or cars parts.
Now, a Canada-based research team has found a new use for the waste wood, combining it with a layer of tannins.
These natural plant compounds, found in berries, tea and coffee, have anti-inflammatory properties and can even filter out UV rays.
Aware that tannins also trigger multiple reactions at molecular level, the team discovered that their mixture can filter out microplastics from water.
In lab tests, particles measuring between 100 nanometres and 22 micrometres in size bonded to the material, leading to filter rates of 92.5% to 99.5%.