Lab creates petrified wood

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005 A process that would normally take millions of years, scientists have mimicked within a couple of days. Today, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have turned wood mineral by the process of soaking poplar and pine in a chemical mix and then cooking them. The team of scientists accomplishing this feat, led by Yongsoon Shin, bought pine and poplar boards and performed a series of steps. The first step leading to the petrifying of the wood is thinly cutting it, then soaking it in acids and a silica solution, after that, heating it, and lastly, cooling the product in argon. Silica takes up a bond with the carbon left in the wood's cellulose, creating silicon carbide, widely known as a ceramic.