A Scottish material company called CelluComp is working on ways to turn vegetables into the manufacturing materials of the future.
The company has been working on an impressive substance called Curran that depends on the extraction of cellulose, a structural component of the primary cell wall in green plants that is now used to produce paperboard, paper, and can be converted into a biofuel — from vegetables like carrots, sugar beets, and turnips.
Unlike other cellulose-based compounds, Curran can be cleanly and easily separated from its source (carrots at the moment), and boasts “supernatural strength,” according to Modern Farmer.
So far, Curran, which is roughly twice as strong as carbon fiber, has been used in skateboards and fishing rods, “and someday maybe even cars.”
Dr. David Hedworth, CelluComp’s co-founder and material scientist, told the BBC, “the potential of Curran is enormous and if we can replace just a small percentage of carbon fiber in products the effects on the environment could be significant and wide ranging.”
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.