It weighs a fifth of steel but is five times stronger: plant-based cellulose nanofiber (CNF) offers carmakers the opportunity to build strong, lightweight wooden cars.
There is no need to turn up your nose, the cars are made of fibers made from wood, but they will certainly not look like a piano. And there's more: Cellulose nanofibers sustainably remove up to 2.000 kg of carbon from the car's life cycle.
Cellulose nanofibers, a material that surprises everyone
The properties of cellulose nanofiber are nothing short of extraordinary: a study from last year estimated that they have an average resistance even higher than that of spider silk.
Essentially it is wood that has been chopped and macerated into substances that remove lignin and hemicellulose.
This iter (based on treatment with hydrogen peroxide) allows to obtain a highly condensed, light, incredibly resistant and above all absolutely recyclable material.
The plus? It can be printed
Cellulose nanofibers also have great potential in production. Its characteristics also allow them to be printed to create complex shapes.
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment Yoshiaki Harada (looking for redemption after the unhappy exits on Fukushima) promotes the use of these nanofibers as a sustainable way for manufacturers to reduce both the weight and the environmental impact of their cars.
It could be a way to change the car building philosophy, and the future of autonomous vehicles will also benefit from this material.