Citizens' Issues
Swedish scientists develop transparent wood to brighten homes naturally
Bengaluru : Wouldn't it be great if wood -- a common construction material -- is made transparent? That would be attractive for designers and would allow sunlight to pass through and lead to a brighter future for homes and buildings.
 
Money could also be saved by cutting down on artificial lighting.
 
That feat has indeed been accomplished by Swedish scientists at Wallenberg Wood Science Center in Stockholm following up their earlier success in the development of transparent paper. They reported having developed "transparent wood that could be used in building materials and could help home and building owners (reduce) costs". 
 
Their material, reported in a paper just published in the American Chemical Society's journal "Biomacromolecules" could also find application in solar cell windows.
 
The researchers said the amount of light transmitted decreased with increase in wood thickness. Right now the transparent wood they have developed is only a few millimetres thick. 
 
"This is only a prototype," Lars Berglund, the main author of the report told IANS in an email. "We expect to make thicker structures very soon." 
 
Wood contains a structural polymer called "lignin" that blocks 80 to 95 percent of light from passing through. In their experiment, the researchers removed the light-absorbing lignin component from samples of commercial balsa wood. 
 
That was not enough as the resulting material was still not transparent due to light scattering within the fibrous wood cells. 
 
To allow light to pass through the wood more directly, the researchers stopped the internal scattering by incorporating refractive-index matched acrylic (Poly-methyl methacrylate), also known plexiglass. 
 
This process resulted in optically transparent wood that was twice as strong as plexiglass and able to transmit 85 per cent of light falling on it. 
 
According to the researchers, the structure of the wood tissue was "well preserved" after all these treatments and "the transparent wood also showed excellent structural performance."
 
Although the wood they developed is not as crystal clear as glass, its haziness provides a possible advantage for solar cells, the report said. "Because the material still traps some light, it could be used to boost the efficiency of solar cells," the scientists noted. 
 
"Therefore the lightweight, strong and optically transparent wood is an excellent candidate for lightweight and low-cost structures in light-transmitting buildings and for transparent solar cell windows. Solar cell fabrication based on transparent wood substrate is carried out in our group now."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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MTNL gets Rs.458 crore for surrendering CDMA spectrum
New Delhi : The government has approved compensation of Rs.458.04 crore to Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) for surrender of 800 MHz CDMA spectrum, the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
 
“MTNL has informed BSE that government had approved compensation of Rs.458.04 crore to MTNL for surrender of 800 MHz CDMA spectrum out of which Rs.428.95 crore has been sanctioned for disbursal vide DoT (Department of Telecom) letter dated March 28, 2016 and MTNL has received the amount in its account on March 30, 2016,” the filing with the BSE said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Tata Trusts partner with Maharashtra for developmental projects
Mumbai : The Maharashtra government and Tata Trusts have signed multiple MoUs to improve community developmental indicators spanning various sectors in the state, an official said here on Thursday.
 
The memorandums of understanding were signed in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata to conceptualise new programmes and implement existing initiatives to deliver a positive impact on the state's overall development.
 
The state government will be able to achieve convergence and improve efficiencies across its governance, data management, healthcare and nutrition, literacy and welfare initiatives, juvenile justice and other programmes.
 
Tata Trusts will guide in setting up these initiatives, provide strategic and technical advisory support and oversee the implementation of all the programmes.
 
For this, Tata Trusts will collaborate actively with the public health department to set up strategic healthcare advisory units, design a micronutrient deficiency prevention programme and join hands with the food, civil supplies and consumer protection department to arrest malnutrition and other measures.
 
Its planning department will partner with the government to design and implement a model data platform for better implementation of government programmes as part of 'Digital India' vision.
 
It will also collaborate with other major departments like home, women development corporation, Maharashtra state rural livelihood mission, mahila arthik vikas mandal and State Institute of English for various other programmes.
 
"We are pleased to partner with the Maharashtra government to realise our common vision and endeavour of community development and well being. It can only be achieved through focused, innovative and relevant on-ground interventions that will make a real difference to the people," Tata said on the occasion.
 
"We should leverage our strengths to promote more fruitful cooperation in key areas like nutrition, governance, data management, healthcare, education and literary to reinforce welfare initiatives and programmes," the chief minister said. 
 
Fadnavis said it will help propel the socio-economic development of Maharashtra to new heights.
 
All the programmes would include members from the state-level governance boards of various departments, senior advisors from Tata Trusts and its ecosystem of partners.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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