This eco-friendly glitter gets its color from plants, not plastic

You are currently viewing This eco-friendly glitter gets its color from plants, not plastic

The glitter isn’t green. Sparkling and shimmery colors are usually made from toxic substances or microplastics that are polluting ( SN: 4/15/19). This makes the glittery stuff extremely difficult to get rid of in the house, a problem on the planet too.

A novel, non-toxic alternative that is biodegradable could change the way we think about. In the substance cellulose, which is the principal building block for cell walls in plants — produces nanoscale patterns that create bright color patterns that can be used as structural colors ( SN: 9/28/21). The cellulose material can be utilized to create environmentally friendly glitters and glitters that can be used in cosmetics, paints and packaging. Researchers have reported their findings on this week in Nature Materials.

The concept to harness cellulose was derived in the form of African Plant Pollia condensata that produces brilliant, iridescent blue fruit known as marble berries. The tiny patterns of cellulose inside the cell walls reflect particular wavelengths of light to produce the distinctive hue. “I was thinking, if plants can produce it, we should also be in a position to create the same thing,” says chemist Silvia Vignolini from Cambridge University. University of Cambridge.

Vignolini and coworkers whipped up an emulsion of water that contained cellulose fibers , and then put it on plastic. When the liquid cooled into a film rod-like fibers grew into spiral structures that resembled spiral staircases. Adjusting factors such as the slope of these staircases altered the wavelengths of light that the structures of cellulose reflected and, consequently, the colour that the films.

The researchers were able in the manner of fairy tale characters who turn straw to gold change their transparent, plant-based slurry long, glittery ribbons of meter-long lengths in the form of a rainbow of shades. The swaths were then taken off the plastic platform and crushed to create glitter. The shimmering ribbon is made up of tiny amounts of cellulose, which reflect light in particular methods to create the color.Benjamin Drouguet

“You can utilize any kind of cellulose” Vignolini says. Her team made use of the cellulose of wood pulp however, they could have also used cotton fibers or peels of fruit leftover from textile production.

The researchers must study the environmental impact of their latest fanciest glitter. However, Vignolini believes that products that are made of natural materials are in good shape for the future.

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