Soaked, Dried & Petrified: An electron microscopic image shows a cross section of wood that was artificially petrified in days, mimicking a natural process that takes millions of years. Materials scientists are interested in the novel properties of ceramics built on wood templates. (Photo credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists can mineralize wood in record time
California has Silicon Valley. Could a Silicon Forest in Washington be next? A team of materials scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is on it.
Yongsoon Shin and colleagues at the Department of Energy lab have converted wood to mineral, achieving in days what it takes nature millions of years to do in such places as the Gingko Petrified Forest, an hour up the Columbia River. There, trees likely felled in a cataclysmic eruption and, buried without oxygen beneath lava, leached out their woody compounds and sponged up the soil’s minerals over the eons.
Bill Cannon | EurekAlert!
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