There are many ways to protect our environment – from small daily acts like recycling soda cans to generating renewable energy from the wind or the sun.
You can even come up with entirely new materials that are eco-friendly, and here are a few examples of the latest such materials.
It Just Takes Waste Paper and Water
A new material called Zeoform – made of just cellulose fibers (from waste paper and pulp) and water – can be use to replace materials in everything from building construction and interior design to musical instruments and jewelry, according to a recent article by TreeHugger.
The wood-like, as well as plastic-like, Zeoform is glue-free and can be molded, pressed, sprayed, sanded, stained, painted and made into different densities, opening up the possibilities of producing a wide range of products, according to the article.
Recyclable MDF, Made Partially from…Potatoes
Professor Andrew Abbott has recently received the Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation 2013 for creating a new biodegradable and recyclable form of medium density fiberboard (MDF) that could dramatically reduce the problem of future waste.
MDF is a cheap and popular engineered wood product widely used for furniture and other products in homes, offices and retail businesses. However, MDF cannot be recycled.
A new wood-based product similar to MDF was created by Professor Abbott and his team at the Department of Chemistry at University of Leicester, using a resin based on starch from completely natural resources including potatoes. The new material is not only recyclable, but also easier to manufacture and easier to work with than current MDF boards.
New Material That Stores More Energy
Researchers at Australian National University developed a new material that can store large amounts of energy with very little energy loss, with practical applications in renewable energy storage and electric cars, as well as defense and space technologies.
The new metal oxide dielectric material outperforms current capacitors in many aspects, storing large amounts of energy and working reliably from -190 °C to 180 °C, and is cheaper to manufacture than current components, according to a paper published in the October 2013 Edition of EcoGeneration.
The material could be particularly transformative for wind and solar power, which can cause problems when fed into the power grid during low demand times.
(Photos from the above mentioned sites.)