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Transparent wood now exists and it looks just like plastic

Science is so cool. Seriously, these researchers from the University of Maryland just created transparent wood by stripping the colors and chemicals from it.

It basically looks just like a block of plastic.

Transparent wood is almost magical: more insulating than glass, biodegrades better than plastic, and won’t shatter on impact.

How do they do it? Just two simple steps. Really.

First, they boiled a piece of basswood in sodium hydroxide, sodium sulfite, and other chemicals for a couple hours, which removes the lignin that gives the wood its color.


The genetic structure of lingin. (Wikimedia Commons)

Basically this turns it white. Then, they soaked it with an epoxy resin to strengthen it and make it appear clear.

This marks a pretty big milestone in developing wooden windows, but scientists still have a ways to go.

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Transparent wood now exists and it looks just like plastic

Christina Buff

Christina is a freelance writer from a tiny town in Southern Maryland who just can't seem to figure out whether others are being sarcastic or not. She has a degree in business communication, with a focus in writing, from Stevenson University, and has written things for Severna Park Voice, Maryland Film Festival, The Villager, and Hello Giggles. Follow her on twitter @tinaBUFF where she constantly overthinks her tweets, or read her medley of musings at touchinfinity.wordpress.com.

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