A Malaysian scientist has discovered a revolutionary method of producing aerogel using waste rice husks. Known for it’s ghostlike appearance, aerogel has many possible applications including insulation and as a shock absorber. The strong, light weight substance (it’s 99% air) is made of silica, which composes 20% of the weight of rice husks. Using husks as the source of silica for Aerogel drastically cuts the cost of production.

Treehugger reports:

Aerogel was invented in 1931. But at $3000 per kilogram, it’s use has been limited to visionary projects and unique structural applications like reinforcement of tennis raquets. But that could change soon. Halimaton Hamdan, a Cambridge-trained professor of chemistry at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (Technical University of Malaysia), has announced the discovery of a cheap process for turning waste rice husks into aerogel. Actually into “Maerogel”, as Hamdan has dubbed the “Malaysian aerogel”.

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