Hi-tech fibre is green… er orange actually

Posted by jerry on February 20th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Technology

From fishing rods to warships and presumably motorcycles too, a new nano-fibre has been developed from …er… carrots. Developed by Dr David Hepworth and Dr Eric Whale, the fibre material – to be first used in fishing rods – is a renewable resource that is pretty much carbon neutral – so it’s great for the environment. According to Dr Hepworth, when the material is burnt the carbon it creates is cancelled out by the carbon absorbed by the carrots when they were growing.


The new fly fishing rods being manufactured at the inventors’ company, CelluComp in Burntisland, Fife, Scotland go on sale in March. They will retail at about the same price as normal fishing rods, and each contains about 50 percent carrot, using about 2kg in its construction, – according to an article in The Scotsman dated 9 Feb 2007.

The Scotsman

The pair got together during their PhD studies at Reading University, when studying biological materials. The nano-fibers in the carrots are extracted and combined with high-tech resins to create a substance that can be moulded into any shape, flexibility or weight as required. The product hits the market just when there is global shortage of carbon fibre (which is extracted from non-renewable oil)

BBC news online - high tech fibre

And if the process results in a sudden surge in the carrots futures market, they can always use turnips parsnips or swedes 🙂

I’m wondering whether there might also be a new strong thread here that could be used in clothing or other textile manufacture – the way kevlar and carbon fibres are used today in motorcycle gloves and jackets. The possibilities of these biocomposite materials seem endless!



Comment by Andrea

It isn’t 1st April yet is it?! … I just had to check – a Dr Eric WHALE making fishing rods out of carrots – LOL … and I wonder … when one or other of those 2 Doctors were working in the lab, with their carrots, and someone ducked in to see how they were going, I wonder if any of them said “What’s up Doc?”
ducking and running …

Posted on February 20, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Comment by jerry

*groan* yeah there’s always one… But these guys have been working on this since 2003 and they are not the only ones to make use of biocomposite materials – so yeah it’s not 1 April yet… but don’t give me ideas 😉


Posted on February 20, 2007 at 8:15 pm

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