Messages Archive

Follow up: new type of treated wood

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Had a chance to talk with a wood chemistry expert today. The reason the article on this stuff barely mentioned how it was made is because the material is "microcrystalline cellulose" and this stuff is not new. It's been made for a long time by various means. It is expensive with no obvious way to make it less expensive. OK for formulating drug tablets; not so practical to build buildings from it.

As described in the article wood is pulped with strong hydrogen peroxide (not a cheap reagent to make) which destroys the lignin and some of the cellulose, leaving behind a special kind of cellulose that will be strong as claimed. If a thousand tons of this stuff is made what will be done with the more than thousand tons of waste lignin and degraded cellulose?

The novel part of the disclosure is that the microcrystalline cellulose can be pressed into a strong sheet that reflects heat. All that remains is how to take advantage of these costly sheets. It won't be building siding. Anyone up for trying it for making snow white furniture that stays cool on the patio?

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