If windows made from transparent wood can be be an interesting idea, the solution to make the wood transparent the easy way was found. The standard process for making wood transparent typically involves soaking the wood in a vat of sodium chlorite. But Liangbing Hu at the University of Maryland and his colleagues came up with a method that modifies the lignin instead of removing it completely. Lignin can be made transparent by removing only the parts of its molecules that give them their colour. Hydrogen peroxide was applied on the wood surface. A UV lamp simulated natural sunlight. The wood was tham imersed in ethanol to clean it. The result ? The final product is a piece of wood that allows more than 90 per cent of light to pass through it and is more than 50 times stronger than transparent wood with the lignin completely removed.
It’s a new an interesting construction material to be used by innovative technologies.. “The transparent wood is lighter and stronger than glass. It could be used for load-bearing windows and roofs,” says Hu. This material feature makes it not an ideal replacement for glass, however, it will be suitable as a skylight to increase the amount of natural light in the building.The human imagination will find how to use it in unexpected ways. The future become more interesting when such things exist.