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The U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) celebrated the opening of their $1.7 million nanocellulose pilot plant in Madison, Wisconsin late last month. TAPPI President and CEO Larry N. Montague joined industry representatives and dignitaries, including USDA Under Secretary Harris Sherman, to celebrate FPL's investment to become the country's leading producer of nanocellulose.
Nanocellulose, derived from cellulose which is the world's most abundant natural polymer, has unique crystalline properties that can be used commercially to make lightweight, high-performance products for use in a wide range of industries. Applications include consumer products, medical devices, electronics, food packaging, coatings, composites, antimicrobial fibers, military applications, filters for blood and water and many others. The emerging market for new wood-derived renewable materials will create jobs and contribute an estimated $600 billion to the economy by 2020.
"TAPPI and its International Nanotechnology Division commend the Forest Service for making this investment in a one of a kind pilot plant to support the growth of nanocellulose applications. Applying nanotechnology to renewable materials is a groundbreaking advancement for improving not only cellulose based products but for other renewable materials and industries." notes TAPPI's Montague. "The FPL pilot plant will play an integral role in advancing nanotechnology research and new product development by providing forest based nanocellulose to researchers and commercial application developers in a wide range of industries."
Founded in 1910, the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory is the nation's only federally funded wood utilization research laboratory. The mission of the FPL is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource.
TAPPI's International Nanotechnology Division serves as the leading global forum for the community of individuals, organizations and institutions seeking to collectively advance the responsible and sustainable production and use of renewable nanomaterials. The division's International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials, which will hold its next meeting on June 24-27, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden, is the industry's largest annual meeting.
TAPPI is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging and converting industries and publisher of Paper360° and TAPPI JOURNAL. Through information exchange, events, trusted content and networking opportunities, TAPPI helps members elevate their performance by providing solutions that lead to better, faster and more cost-effective ways of doing business. It has provided management training and networking to the industry’s leaders for more than 97 years.
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