The construction plates are the first of their kind and invented by Prof. Gadi Rothenberg and Dr Albert Alberts. They are pressed at high temperature and pressure at the wood research centre at Bangor (Maine, USA). The materials combine various non-woven plant material with jute and the a new biodegradable resin developed at the UvA. The plates, set in black wood by framer Bert Faas, are slightly rough to the touch and have a caramel-like fragrance.
Working with the UvA's Technology Transfer Office, Rothenberg and Alberts are now developing several applications for the new polymer, in collaboration with the American companies Tintoria Piana and Clearwater. The UvA has filed six patent applications on this new material and its applications, and the partners hope to bring the first products to market in the coming year. Thanks to its low price and ready availability, the polymer has many potential uses, from packaging and construction to biodegradable plant pots. Below is a link to the article on this topic featured in this month's issue of National Geographic.