Forest Products Lab opens nanocellulose facility

The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin recently opened a $1.7 million pilot factory to process wood pulp into nanocrystalline cellulose, a lightweight material said to be as strong as Kevlar. This is only the second such facility in the world.

Materials containing nanocrystalline cellulose have potential applications in many industries including forest products, aerospace, automobile manufacture, and medical devices. The high strength and low weight of these materials will enable improvements in product performance
while also reducing fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. FPL’s new facility will aid in the development and commercialization of new products by providing researchers and early adopters of the technology with working quantities of forest-based nanomaterials.  

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