The team of YU Shuhong, Academician of the CAS, has utilized natural cellulose nanofibers from wood chips and other biomass to construct a high-performance artificial wood with an isotropic flexural strength of up to 170 MPa and a bending modulus of about 10 GPa, far exceeding the mechanical strength of natural solid wood. To this end, wood sawdust was surface-eteched and oxidized using TEMPO, followed by Ca2+-mediated intercalation and hot pressing. The resulting material showed excellent fracture toughness, high compressive strength, hardness, impact resistance, dimensional stability, and flame retardancy superior to that of natural wood. By incorporating carbon nanotubes into the nano-network between wood particles, it was possible to obtain conductive wood that can be self-heated at low voltage.
National Science Reviews https://doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nwaa230