Biocomposites and nanotechnology are two areas drawing attention today from researchers and the industry alike. In Iran, researchers from, among others, Isfahan University of Technology have combined the two to produce a new kind of nanocomposite, based on pistachio shell, an agro-waste that has high tensile strength.
The wood-plastic nanocomposite can be used in the building industry, and it is resistant to humidity, loss of color and various types of fungi and insects. And in the best sustainable tradition, it has the added virtue of being derived from a locally generated source of filler material.
As one of the world's top pistachio producers, Iran annually produces and exports thousands of tons of pistachio nuts to other countries. The country therefore has ready access to a reliable source of pistachio shell waste. The structure of pistachio shell and its components, specifically cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, make this material an appropriate choice for the production of biocomposites.