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News Story Source: https://newatlas.com, Loz Blain
"Nanowood" as the team calls it, is produced by taking certain cuts of regular wood –American basswood in initial trials – and chemically removing all the lignin from it. Lignin contributes the yellow/brown color and hardness you'd normally associate with wood. It's removed entirely when making perfectly white paper that doesn't yellow as it ages.
In fact, the process for producing nanowood is very similar to making paper – the wood is cut, paying special attention to its grain, and then it's boiled in sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite, then treated in hydrogen peroxide to remove lignin and most of the hemicellulose, and then freeze-dried to maintain the structure of the wood, instead of mashed up as you would to produce paper.
With the lignin taken out of a block of wood, what you're left with is a lightweight, white bundle of cellulose fibers – the scaffold-like structure of the wood itself.
These fibers not o
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