Learn what transparent wood is and read about three updates related to its application and market trends. 

Demand for eco-friendly materials is on the rise. Replacing fossil-based materials with bio-based ones can contribute to climate change mitigation, reducing CO2 emissions and bioeconomy development. An innovation is getting increased attention: transparent wood. Renewable, sustainable, low energy requirements and excellent optical and mechanical properties are some of its qualities. 

Studies have been done with transparent wood in energy-saving building applications, energy-efficient windows, packaging, and more. But what do we know about it and what are some of its applications? Here we explain what transparent wood is and provide three updates related to its application and market trends. 

How is transparent wood made? 

Wood is resistant, a great insulator and aesthetic. In the video below, Céline Montanari, a researcher at the Fibre and Polymer Technology department and the Wallenberg Wood Science Center at KTH, as she explains more about the development of transparent wood biocomposites for structural applications.  

Engineering applications 

A company has been working on integrating electronics into its touch-sensitive wood that could be used in cars, for example. Also, scientists are exploring other uses for transparent wood and currently working on processes to make them more environmentally friendly. 

No waste 

Researchers have developed a way to turn waste material from wood into a bio-based transparent film that can be used for anti-fogging or anti-reflective coatings on glasses or vehicle windows. This new approach could also be used to make coloured films from lignin nanoparticles. 

Innovation and trends 

When used as a replacement for glass, transparent wood could reduce space regarding energy requirements to 24.6–33.3% in medium and large office spaces. In addition, the market’s trajectory reflects the increasing interest in sustainable and innovative building materials.

Featured image by Wiley‐vch Verlag Gmbh & Co. Kgaa, Weinheim / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0