Oranges ‘can make 100% renewable transparent wood’

Fruit can provide wood with a bio-plastic material that can make it efficient for applications such as smart windows, according to new research

The Big Zero report

Swedish scientists have discovered a way to use citrus fruits, such as oranges to make a see-through wood building material 100% sustainable.

Researchers from the Stockholm-based KTH Royal Institute of Technology found that infusing wood with a clear bio-plastic made from citrus fruit can make it stronger and renewable.

They have tested a monomer made from limonene, which is a component in the oil of citrus fruit peels.

That replaces fossil-based polymers previously used by the team to test the properties of their transparent wood.

They believe the new material can strengthen the capabilities of the wood in building construction applications including smart windows.

The wood lets natural light through and can even store thermal energy, according to the research published in Advanced Science.

Lead Author, PhD Student Céline Montanari said: “The new limonene acrylate is made from renewable citrus, such as peel waste that can be recycled from the orange juice industry.”

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