“TED for Trees” talk covers how nanocellulose can help solve plastic waste problem

February 15, 2020 |

In Georgia, Kim Nelson from Brazil-based GranBio gave a “TED-style” educational talk on the marvel and potential of nanocellulose at a “TED for Trees” event sponsored by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities. She talked about nanocellulose’s potential, with a particular focus on how nanocellulose can help solve our plastic waste problem. Watch the video here.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Some of the world’s strongest materials are made from the tiniest particles in trees. Their story begins 465 million years ago when vegetation first crawled out of the ocean. Over a period of 160 million years this vegetation grew from small shrubs to tall trees through major changes in the structures of the plants. Most importantly the formation of strong tissues that allowed them to grow even higher and broader in search of sunlight. The evolved tissues contained new structural innovations, particularly high strength, lightweight, submicroscopic particles, called nanocellulose.

Nanocellulose allows trees to achieve some incomparable feats:

  • They can reach heights the length of a football field
  • Support their own weight up to the equivalent to 280 elephants
  • And stand alive and tall for up to 5,000 years.

We can now economically extract nanocellulose from the cells and reassemble them into unique products using the principles of nanotechnology. Scientists have recently produced the world’s strongest biomaterial from pure nanocellulose, knocking spider silk off its pedestal. This biomaterial is also stronger than metals, carbon nanotubes, graphene and glass fibers on an equal weight basis.

Using the expertise of mother nature, nanocellulose has created materials with unprecedented performance.”

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