Scientists at the University of British Columbia in Canada have discovered a way to recycle old wood and the waste in its production. It turns out that Wood can be harder than steel.

The method consists in partially dissolving lignin, a component of wood, with dimethylacetamide in the presence of lithium chloride. However, this process does not affect another building material of wood fiber cellulose.

After the lignin has dissolved, the pieces of wood can be glued together. Although it no longer resembles wood, it has a different property. It turned out to be harder than steel and even its alloys with titanium.

This stiffness is due to new hydrogen bonds forming between the cellulose fibres. Scientists report on the discovery in Nature Sustainability.

The researchers suggest that in this way it will be possible to use wood, giving the old boards a completely new look. It will also be possible to renew (and strengthen) the surfaces of old wooden objects.

The wood regeneration process does not require any special conditions. This can be done anywhere wood is processed. Scientists hope so thanks to their discovery Wood will become a real renewable material – Can be used repeatedly.

It must be admitted that this is not a completely new idea. The fact that wood can be used to create objects much tougher than steel was reported by scientists in “Material” in 2021. Researchers from the University of Maryland dissolved lignin and They made a kitchen knife out of cellulose, which was as hard as steel.

However, they succeeded by completely dissolving the lignin and then pressing the cellulose under pressure. However, the Canadian method is not without this troublesome procedure, since lignin is partially dissolved.

Also last year, researchers discovered a way to make a file The wood was transparent. A simple chemical modification allows it to shed up to 90 percent. The lights, discovered by scientists at the University of Maryland last year (published in Science Advances).

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