Scientists have long sought to discover the reason why trees have been standing around for so long and what gives them the lightweight structure and strength to make it through all those years without crumbling. The secret lied in their cellulose structures.
These structures can be extracted, used for a whole bunch of applications and all the while never really run out of ways to make more. The natural process is appealing and albeit very eco-friendly. As a biofuel, medicine, travel and construction alternative; it has a whole world of potential waiting to be unlocked.
It can be used in cement, paper fillers, construction, aerospace, viscosity modifier for cosmetics applications, drilling of oil, paint, plastic and all of that with no effect to the environment. At least, no bad effects can be seen at all.
If you could extract and use one of the most abundant materials on earth and use to make materials lighter, grow bones by scaffolding and practically change medicine by taking it leaps into the future, you would be a hero.
Well, scientists say that by harnessing these plants based cellulose nanocrystals for such uses we could do that. Everything here is green and safe for use in hospitals. This will include equipment and artificial body parts.
Currently, we rely on steel to make strong materials. Nanocellulose is stronger that steel by about 8 times and it is lighter by far. This will mean; faster traveling time, less fuel, strong materials and basically, a huge change in planes, space travel and even cars, in general, could benefit from this one.
A Greener Future
Naturally produced, nanocellulose will ensure that the process of production is green. This will replace industrially made materials that have long destroyed the planet. We are looking at a better future with no adverse effect on the planet.
If we are to make it all better, we can reduce extraction of other materials that degrade the land by replacing them with nanocellulose based structures.
The production of electronics, cars, planes and computers is about to change. The fact that they can be made smaller and lighter is exciting because so far, it has been about making things smaller without losing their properties that make them so good in their huge state.
We have the future in our hands; we now have to find ways to apply it to the current situations. The applications are endless. As a researcher, I can assure you that you only have to look and see where we can fit this and then voila, you change the world.