Of course, it is better to put the phrase in quotes, but in general there is no deception or clickbait here. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) employee Junyun Zhu worked with colleagues at the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado to develop a transparent wood-based material that, in theory, could replace glass in many manufacturing areas.
The material obtained was relatively simple. Low density balsa wood is used, which is placed in an oxidizing bath at room temperature. In the process of oxidation, the wood is almost completely discolored. Then it is impregnated with polyvinyl alcohol, resulting in an almost transparent material.
But “wooden glass” stands out not only for its transparency at the level of usual. The fact is that it is much stronger and lighter than glass. And the new material is five times more thermally efficient, which makes it much cheaper to manufacture. But that’s not all. Considering the raw material, the production of wood glass is accompanied by minimal carbon emissions, it is biodegradable, and compatibility with existing industrial equipment allows for quick and cheap production.
The original article provides many examples of the use of such glass in construction, so this is probably the main potential area. There, in particular, the high thermal efficiency of the material is noted. However, in theory, such glass could also be used in consumer electronics.
Of course, so far this is only a development, and it is unclear whether it will really find mass application on the market and, if so, when. But so far it seems that the new material does not have any significant drawbacks. Apart from the potentially huge costs of balsa, which, unlike sand, is not available in conventionally unlimited quantities.