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Sustainable revolution: scientists create transparent bamboo with high energy efficiency and fire resistance. Ideal for construction and solar energy

15 May 2024 to 14: 19
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construction - solar panels - photovoltaic panels - solar energy
Sustainable revolution: scientists create transparent bamboo with high energy efficiency and fire resistance. Ideal for construction and solar energy

Innovation in construction and energy: new transparent bamboo-based material increases solar efficiency by 15% and offers fire resistance. Discover how this sustainable technology is transforming the sector!

In a significant advance toward more sustainable and efficient, a team led by the Central South University of Forestry and Technology (CSUFT) has developed a transparent material derived from natural bamboo. This discovery not only promises to revolutionize the construction industry, but also improve the efficiency of optical devices such as solar cells.

With a transmittance of 71,6%, the transparent material increased energy conversion by 15% when used in solar cells.

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Innovation in Materials: Transparent Bamboo

Professors Yiqiang Wu and Caichao Wan, together with their team, managed to create a transparent bamboo that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally superior. This material has a three-layer fire retardant barrier, which effectively reduces the release of heat, slows the spread of flames and limits the emission of volatile combustibles, toxic smoke and carbon monoxide (CO). These findings were documented in the journal Research.

Features and Benefits of Transparent Bamboo

  • Fire resistance: Treated bamboo has an extended ignition time of 116 seconds, a total heat release of just 0,7 MJ/m² and a total smoke production of 0,063 m².
  • Robust mechanical properties: Displays flexural and tensile moduli of 7,6 ± 1,3 GPa and 6,7 ± 1,1 GPa, respectively.
  • Efficient light transmission: With a transparency of 71,6% and a haze value of 96,7%, it is ideal for applications that require light management.

Furthermore, when used as a substrate for perovskite solar cells, transparent bamboo shows a remarkable 15,29% increase in energy conversion efficiency, demonstrating its potential to significantly improve the efficiency of these energy technologies.

Treated bamboo has an extended ignition time of 116 seconds. Source: eurekalert

Challenges and Opportunities

Overcoming the Limitations of Traditional Glass

Silica glass, despite being a widely used transparent material, faces challenges in construction, such as its fragility and high density, in addition to significant emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases during its manufacture. In contrast, clear bamboo not only addresses these issues but also offers additional environmental benefits.

Environmental Advantages of Bamboo

Bamboo regenerates quickly, reaching maturity in just 4 to 7 years, and produces up to four times more material per hectare than the forest. These characteristics make it a renewable resource highly efficient and sustainable for construction, especially compared to wood, whose global scarcity could pose a challenge in the future.

Future of Transparent Bamboo in Construction

According to Professor Wan, the future focus will include large-scale manufacturing and multifunctionalization of transparent bamboo. This research could open new avenues for the development of more environmentally friendly and efficient fire-resistant glass, construction and optical devices.

Transparent bamboo is not only a promising alternative to traditional glass due to its innovative and sustainable characteristics, but it also represents a breakthrough in construction, a global commitment to ecology and sustainability in the construction and solar energy industries.

Source: www.eurekalert.org

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