A research project in Madison, Wisconsin, is trying to take trees too small to be sold for lumber or energy biomass and turn them into a marketable product via “nanocellulose”, reports USDA’ Forest Products Laboratory (story here):
Scientists are working with local government officials and timber processors on a project that could help turn small-diameter trees into high-tech products. The key ingredient is microscopic particles of cellulose, called “nanocellulose.” Scientists have found that nanocellulose materials have unique properties and may be useful in a variety of applications.
Nanocellulose is part of the emerging field of nanotechnology. Nanocellulose materials are strong, lightweight, colorless, and biodegradable. Possible uses may include lightweight armor, ballistic glass, car body panels, computer cases, food storage, and flexible electronics. Other products, such as concrete and structural panels, can be strengthened with the addition of nanocellulose.
I thought I’d heard of every “nano-” product, but nanocellulose is new to me. Not to Gizmodo, however: They had a click-worthy story about it, complete with a number in the headline back in 2013.