Scottish material science company CelluComp has created a sustainable alternative to carbon fibre using carrots.
Nano-fibres are extracted from carrot pulp and combined with polymers to create the material named Curran, which is lighter and stronger than carbon fibre. Curran is renewable and sustainable and uses carrots discarded by the food industry.
The new material has been commercially used to produce a fishing rod, making use of the strength and stiffness of the nano-cellulose-based fibres. The company is now focusing on application-based products such as paints and coatings to offer durability and structural integrity. Future products that could benefit from this natural alternative to carbon fibre include helmets and surfboards.
Scientists and designers are increasingly looking to nature as a source of renewable and clean material development. To see more examples of creative and biological research being fused to develop new bio-based materials and applications, see our report Direct From Nature.