Scientist Create Environmentally-friendly Alternative to Polystyrene Foam

Amir Ameli and Xiao Zhang of Washington State University have created a more environmentally-friendly alternative to polystyrene foam (better known as Styrofoam) which performs better than Styrofoam as an insulator and can support up to 200 times its own weight without losing its shape. This plant-based material is made using a combination of cellulose nanocrystals derived from wood pulp and polyvinyl alcohol and uses water as the solvent during the manufacturing process. The researchers are continuing their efforts to scale the process up to a commercial level.