Wie Plastik - nur besser: Liquid wood (arboform) may replace plastic in the future

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Deutsche Welle has an article here on a relatively new type of material called arboform (in Occidental by the way it would probably be árborforme) that just might end up replacing plastic in the future now that it has been further developed to be usable for home appliances as well:

Though it has proven to be extremely useful in the modern world, plastic still has a number of negative selling points. It is non-biodegradable and can contain carcinogens and other toxic substances that can cause cancer.

It is also based on petroleum, a non-renewable resource that will soon be harder to come by. Increases in the price of crude oil leads to parallel rises in the price of plastics.

But there is a new chemical invention that could do away with these long-standing concerns.

Norbert Eisenreich, a senior researcher and deputy of directors at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal, Germany, said his team of scientists have come up with a substance that could replace plastic: Arboform -- basically, liquid wood.

It is derived from wood pulp-based lignin and can be mixed with a number of other materials to create a strong, non-toxic alternative to petroleum-based plastics...

The article refers to it as arboform in one place and arborform in two, so a bit of sloppy editing there.

That reminds me, I've seen articles here and there on how astronauts have felt especially attached to plants and living things after spending a long time in space, that they feel stress due to the artificial nature of the environment they live in but spending just a few minutes with plants and soil can really bring this down. Considering the nature of the material I wonder if this would have a positive effect?


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