Liquid wood can be formed into any shape like plastics, and has the advantage that it can be recycled. After suitable treatment, it can be sawed, planed, painted, drilled, carved, nailed, or glued. Though still in the development stage, it may considerably replace plastics in the near future.
What Is Liquid Wood
Liquid wood is a tough, thermoplastic substance that is prepared from a mix of natural fibers and lignin known by the trade name of Arboform. It is frequently acknowledged as an eco-friendly substitute to the plastics that are petroleum-based, and not favorable for the environment. Liquid wood is believed to be safe and suitable for the environment. It is not dependent upon the resource of petroleum. The bioplastics were not considered proper for use in the household because of the high quantity of sulfur content. However, the lower content of sulfur in liquid wood makes it safer for use. After being mixed with numerous other elements, it changes into a solid non-toxic material. The technology of liquid wood has the potential to replace plastic, and provide superior materials during the near future.
Manufacture Of Liquid Wood
Liquid wood is not prepared from the trees, but it is produced from the paper industry waste products. The ingredients of wood, namely lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose are separated during the manufacturing process of paper. Lignin is not utilized during the paper production since it provides an undesirable brownish shade to the paper. Normally, it is used for the production of lower quality newsprint. Lignin is blended with natural fibers, including flax, hemp, and jute. The mixture is heated at high pressures to produce liquid wood. This thermoplastic material is subjected to hydrolysis at high pressures, to obtain a low content of sulfur, and water proof characteristics. Liquid wood can be produced in large quantities, and can be formed into any desirable shape. Experiments have revealed that it can be remolded and recycled. It can be discarded similarly as wood, through decomposition or incineration.
Liquid wood looks like plastic and has the characteristics of a polished wood. Newly gained expertise has considerably improved the sealing of wood fibers, and the unpleasant odours have been eliminated significantly. It is being used in the automobile industry for the manufacture of components that require additional strength. Liquid wood is also being used for the production of vehicle parts located in the interior. A battery tray is even being manufactured with this material. When sufficient pressure is applied, it performs like plastic. Thus it can be injected into molds through nozzles, and any item that can be produced from plastic can also be made by the liquid wood. However, liquid wood has not achieved the recognition being a comparatively new technology that needs additional study and progress. In addition, the excessive sulfur content has restricted its use. However, active research is now being conducted in the field of liquid wood.