Researchers map out how biomass from plants could replace nonrenewable resources in optical applications — ScienceDaily

A digital, urbanised world consumes huge amounts of raw materials that could hardly be called environmentally friendly. One promising solution may be found in renewable raw materials, according to research published in Advanced Materials. In their paper, the international research group has taken a close look at how lignocellulose — or plant biomass — can be used for optical applications, potentially replacing commonly used materials like sand and plastics.

‘We wanted to map out as comprehensively as possible how lignocellulose could replace the nonrenewable resources found in widely used technology, like smart devices or solar cells,’ says Jaana Vapaavuori, assistant professor of functional materials at Aalto University, who carried out the analysis with colleagues at the University of Turku, RISE – Research Institute of Sweden, and University of British Columbia.

Lignocellulose, the term that encompasses cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, is found in nearly every plant on Earth. When scientists

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