It sounds like science fiction, but scientists have actually created transparent wood. Researchers have developed a transparent woody material that they believe could replace glass in windows in the future. Their invention has the potential to surpass the standard glass used in today’s buildings in almost every possible way.
The researchers point out that heat is easily passed through glass, especially single-layer glass. The transfer of heat or cold through glass to households can lead to higher energy costs and may mean more pollution to the environment due to higher electricity demand, and glass production generates about 25,000 metric tons of emissions per year.
Transparent wood is made from a fast-growing, low-density Basha tree, which is treated with room temperature oxidation baths, which make the wood almost transparent after processing. After the oxidation bath, a synthetic polymer called polyethylene alcohol is penetrated into the wood to create an almost transparent product.
Natural cellulose in wood structures and energy-absorbing polymer fillers used in transparent wood make them more durable and lighter than glass, the researchers said. This material can withstand stronger shocks and bends or splits if it breaks, rather than breaking, which means that sharp cutting fragments are less likely to be produced. Basham is also a sustainable and renewable resource with low carbon emissions.
The process of converting wood into transparent materials is compatible with existing industrial processing equipment, which makes transformational manufacturing easy. It is not clear when the material will enter the commercial market, and the technology side has not mentioned which industries the material may be suitable for.