I’m not a materials scientist, but from the little I’ve learned about the topic over the years, I feel pretty confident claiming that a combination of strength and low weight seems to be the holy grail for product materials. Lighter and stronger leads to all sorts of good things, ranging from longer product life to less fuel needed to ship those products.
CelluComp, a Scottish material science company, thinks it might have discovered the perfect material for achieving those qualities, and others, in a variety of products: sugar beet waste. Not only is there a lot of it available, as it’s the feed stock for 20% of sugar produced globally, but it comes with natural properties that make it preferable to other additives. Company CEO Christian Kemp-Griffin claims that their product Curran
…is derived from nanocellulose particles – root vegetables… Now when you get down to that very, very small size you actually get incredible strength properties. So when we put the resulting product that we have into other products, as an additive that goes into other products, it actually adds strength to those products, as well as adding viscosity, and there is no other product that will do both things at the same time.
CelluComp’s video above digs into the details of Curran, including the discovery that sugar beets make the best feed stock for their product (they originally used carrots – curran is the Gaelic word for that root vegetable), and the variety of products to which it could be added.
Take a look, and let us know what you think (especially if you’ve got some knowledge of material science). And thanks to Aisha Abdel for the “heads up” on this story.