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Scientists have added a polymer called polyethylene glycol (PEG) to transparent wood to give it the ability to absorb and release heat — and it could make heating and cooling future homes far less costly.
“During a sunny day, the material will absorb heat before it reaches the indoor space, and the indoors will be cooler than outside,” researcher Céline Montanari said in a press release. “And at night, the reverse occurs — the PEG becomes solid and releases heat indoors so that you can maintain a constant temperature in the house.”
During a meeting of the American Chemical Society on Wednesday, Montanari and colleagues from Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology describe how they built on research from three years ago — when they first discovered how to make transparent wood — by incorporating PEG into the process.