Transparent Wood - The Wood of The Future

By Bill Christou, 04/27/17

Scientists at the University of Maryland, as well as a researchers at Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology have managed to create transparent wood; that is, wood with the lignin chemically removed. This transparent wood has all the structural properties of wood, but is able to pass through rays of light! This transparent wood could have the potential for many industrial uses, mainly as a plastic or glass alternative.

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While this product is still in its development stages, it has the potential to be a great substitute to plastic. Plastic is a massive polluter all over the world, whereas this transparent wood has proven to degrade better than plastic, meaning plastics will be kept out of oceans and landfills.

Currently it is only 85% transparent, but since it is in its development stages, it is believed that the transparency can be increased over time in order for it to be used as windows. It has also proven to be more insulating than glass. Having a load-bearing window that would never crack or shatter is an extremely useful innovation for safety and security in your home.

Architects are very excited about this product, as they will be able to build structures with the same strength as lumber but will bring more light into buildings. Researchers also add that it could be used to create new types of solar panels, made out of wood instead of chemically treated glass.

This amazing innovation will hopefully be even more advanced in the months to come. We'll keep you updated on this product as more information becomes available, and more breakthroughs emerge, right here on NOVA!

By Bill Christou, 04/27/17

"I currently work in an lvl plant in Perth Western Australia and would like to purchase some small pieces to place in small paperweight stands to give to colleagues to remind them the future is just around the corner and what is coming. Also to have something that absolutely amazing, 1 off at the moment and almost inconceivable. Do you have any samples, offcuts you would be willing to sell? Thank you in advance and keep up the good work. The possibilities are endless."

By Craig Boyer on 10/04/23

"At the present time, we do not carry any transparent wood products. We will continue to search for commercially available "transparent wood" products and advise if changes in availability occur."

By Steve G on 02/19/24

"Hi - I know it has only been 3 months, but lots can happening during that time. If by any chance transparent wood has become available to you, please reach out. Thank you, Cinthia"

By Cinthia on 05/29/24

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