A ‘cooled wood’ can reduce the cost of air conditioning a home by 50%, because this new wood-based material, designed by scientists at the universities of Maryland and Colorado, successfully reflects heat or infrared radiation.
Buildings account for more than 40% of total U.S. energy demand, almost half of which is used for heating and cooling.
Eight times stronger
This wood is eight times stronger than natural wood, is highly reflective and capable of passive radiative cooling.
To achieve this, the researchers improved the qualities of the material by compressing the wood that has been stripped of its lignin (polymers that help harden plant cells), and impregnated it with impressive mechanical and radiative cooling properties.
The complete denitrification and deification process not only makes the wood significantly stronger, but also produces partially aligned cellulose nano fibers, giving the cooling wood its highly solar-reflective surface and high infrared emissivity.