7 Incredible Uses For Nanocellulose

7 Incredible Uses For Nanocellulose

The world’s hottest new supermaterial isn’t as fancy as you might think; it’s produced by feeding wood pulp to algae. The result, nanocellulose, is amazingly light, super-strong and conducts electricity. Unsurprisingly, that versatility lends it to plenty of fantastic possible applications. Here are some of the most exciting.

Ultimate Body Armor

eight times higher than stainless steel

Picture: AP

Super-Flexible Screens

Pioneer Electronics is experimenting with it

Picture: Samsung

Future Filters

bit like graphenefilter out blood cells during transfusions
dangerous chemicals in cigarettes

Picture: Twentieth Century Fox

Bendable Batteries

flexible battery we’ve all been dreaming of

Picture: Foto-Ruhrgebiet/Shutterstock

Ultra-Absorbent Aerogels

Because it’s so strong and light, nanocellulose can be crafted into foam that can support more than 10,000 times its own weight. As a result, it’s incredibly porous and super-absorbent. This stuff could make the fanciest wound-dressings and tampons you could ever possibly imagine.

Picture: Innventia

Incredibly Fuel-Efficient Cars

Because nanocellulose is actually quite cheap — it’s made by algae, after all — it should be possible to use it in serious bulk. In fact, Ford reckons it will be able to create so many components out of the stuff — from body panels to interior trim — that it could shave 340kg off the weight of its cars. Prepare for your petrol bill to plummet.

Picture: Ford

Bounteous Biofuel

In the process of having algae chomp through wood pulp to make nanocellulose, it’s possible to rig the process — by tweaking the DNA of the helpful little bugs — to create biofuel at the same time. OK, technically not a product of nanocellulose, but an amazingly useful byproduct of its production.

Picture: Steve Jurveston