Nanocrystalline cellulose is the new carbon nanotube SEP 10 2012
Nanocrystalline cellulose is made from wood pulp, is light, strong, and even conducts electricity.
So why all the fuss? Well, not only is NCC transparent but it is made from a tightly packed array of needle-like crystals which have a strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times better than stainless steel. Even better, it's incredibly cheap.
"It is the natural, renewable version of a carbon nanotube at a fraction of the price," says Jeff Youngblood of Purdue University's NanoForestry Institute in West Lafayette, Indiana.