Maple boiled in wax was a standard insulation technique
E.G. for mounting electrical equipment. Maple was chosen because of its naturally high dielectric strength. The natural water content in the wood was replaced with wax, by boiling the wood in a pan of wax, causing water to boil out and the spaces in the wood were then filled with steam. When the pan was slowly cooled, the steam would collapse into liquid water, and normal atmospheric pressure pushed the wax into the voids.
This could be aided with VPI -- after the water has boiled out, draw a vacuum to vacate the remaining steam; then slowly remove vacuum, allowing the wax to fill the pores, then optionally use pressure to help that along further.
Or asbestos. Really.
It should be noted that such insulating board is NOT non-flammable. If that were desired, use asbestos boards.
"OMG we can't use asbestos, it's DANGEROUS". Stop. Think about fiberglass or rock-wool house insulation. Very fluffy, fibery, and your body itches all over after working with it. That's because, in fact, micro-fibers of that stuff have gotten all over your skin and lungs. Now by contrast, think about a Chevy Corvette with a fiberglass body. You can drive one your whole life and never itch or cough. Because that fiberglass is in a "hard board" form, not fluffy micro-fibers.
Asbestos also came either "fluffy" or "hard-board". People who merely worked around hard-board asbestos (e.g. in electrical facilities) never had a problem... the people who got cancer were on a daily basis, occupationally, for a 20 year career, inhaling the micro-fibers. That meant
- They worked around fluffy-microfiber insulation (e.g. in a boiler room thus insulated)
- They worked in asbestos factories making the stuff (including making the hard-board)
- They did milling or machining operations on hard-board that made a lot of dust
We're talking a workplace where the fibers are just in the air continuously. This exposure had to be daily and occupational (that is your job). Occasional encountersA general repairman making a few drill holes a month on asbestos boards was under no risk of cancer, at least, not from asbestos.
What about using it today? First, cross off "fluffy asbestos insulation" since we have fiberglass and rock-wool for that. But there's no viable replacement for asbestos hard-board. Upside, it's harmless if you can figure out how to manufacture and machine it safely. That's pretty easy today, since modern companies and workers understand and respect PPE, and most of the work is done by robots anyway.
The only reason we don't is the moral panic about asbestos anything, and the unwillingness of private insurers to touch it with a 10-foot pole. However, if there was an industrial necessity to use it, the problems could be overcome quite easily.
Semiconductors would stay ceramic
If you look at early ICs, there's no plastic in 'em. The DIP package is made of 2 layers of ceramic plate, with a metal lid soldered onto it.
This had nothing to do with the density of the IC... so I see no reason this method couldn't simply continue onward. They went to plastic IC bodies because they were cheaper.
You have to figure where to draw the line on plastics.
Plastics are a huge variety of materials made out of varieties of carbon-chain atoms. It isn't necessary to source them from petroleum, but it they get more expensive (and rare) if you don't. Fortunately, plastics are so versatile that they will be popular even at 50 times the price, at least for mission-critical applications. (though perhaps things like blenders and PC cases will be metal).
A printed circuit (PC) board is generally made of a [fiber]glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), and the "plastic" in this meaning is some sort of resin, that will likely be a carbon-chain molecule ... i.e. a plastic of some kind.
However, that's about it. Traditional (circa 1970s) electronics simply put these fiberglass boards on (notably metal) stand-offs inside a metal chassis, and that was it!
So, even for powerful microelectronics, great limitation on plastics need not be a hindrance.