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Peter Larsson

See-through wood could be used for walls, windows, solar cells

Researchers have developed a way of treating wood to make it transparent, potentially creating a strong, inexpensive building material with diverse applications, ScienceAlert reports. In a process described this month in Biomacromolecules, researchers take thin sheets of wood and strip out a natural brownish substance called lignin, leaving the wood bleached white. Then, they make the wood up to 85% transparent by impregnating it with acrylic. The researchers say the process could be scaled up and used to make walls that let in natural light or windows that function as solar cells.

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