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Thanks To Science, Your Next Furniture Could Be Made From Potato Peels
By Izza Sofia, 24 Dec 2018
Image via Shutterstock
Recycled potato peels from chips factories have been successfully turned into medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panels by engineers that could be used to create furniture in the future.
Unlike traditional MDFs, which is omnipresent in numerous homewares such as tables and cabinets, this new method of manufacture does not use any toxic materials and is 100% recyclable.
Traditional MDF is made by turning wood into fibers, which are then combined through the use of a binding agent at high temperatures and pressures. This generates a surface hard enough for use in construction and furniture.
IKEA is one of the prime users of traditional MDF and one of the biggest users of this material globally. Although standard MDF is harder than plywood with a relatively low carbon footprint and is cheap to produce, it uses toxic formaldehyde as a binding agent and other harmful resins that make it non-recyclable.
On the other hand, this new MDF dubbed Chip[s] Board is made from potato peels that is much more environmentally friendly compared to its traditional counterpart.
It was created by British designers Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll, together with biochemist Greg Cooper.
Chip[s] Board has proven to be just as tough as traditional MDF, without the use of any toxic chemicals. It uses waste potato peels—which are refined in a proprietary process—that acts as a binding agent for other materials. It is then treated to the same high pressure and temperature processes that is as used to make traditional MDFs, thereby producing boards just as hardy as the latter.
Due to the non-toxic nature of the binding agents used, this new MDF is completely recyclable and able to transform into compost, forming an eternal circle of recyclable materials that can then be used by manufacturers to create other products.
[via Fast Company, opening image via Shutterstock]
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