Q: I’ve heard the PDC is involved with nanocellulose. Do you manufacture it on-site? Can I buy samples from you?
A: Yes. The PDC recently completed their new Nanofiber Pilot Plant, which is located in our laboratory at Jenness Hall. The plant is capable of producing one ton of material per day and is the only one of its kind in the country. Several different forms of nanofiber are available for purchase; for more details on ordering samples visit our Nanocellulose Requests page.
Q: Your website says that anyone can come to the PDC and have full access to the staff and research facilities on a fee-for-service basis. How can we begin?
A: Typically, prospective clients begin their project by getting in touch with our Managing Director, Pros Bennett. We look forward to hearing from you.
Q: I know that the Process Development Center works on large and small projects, but all my company needs is to send in some samples for testing. Do you do very small tasks like that?
A: Yes. The PDC can perform a wide variety of testing on any type of material in any form, solid, liquid, and gas. We conduct standard tests on pulp samples for brightness, species, fiber morphology and distribution. Other standard tests evaluate paper properties such as strength, structure, and printability. The PDC also has highly specialized test equipment that can determine precise chemical constituents and molecular structure. When you work with the PDC your company has access to all of the equipment and advanced technologies available on the entire UMaine campus. This includes laser scattering for particle size, highly advanced gas chromatography, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Also available is a new scanning electron microscope (SEM), a rare, state-of-the-art device that allows researchers to view objects into the nanometer range and to take detailed images of clay particles, paper fibers, paint chips and similar substances.
Q: How long has the PDC been around?
A: See our History of the PDC page for the story of how the Process Development Center evolved from some outdated machinery in a basement to a cutting-edge center for chemical research.
Q: What are some of the companies/entities/clients that the PDC has worked with?
A: The PDC has worked with hundreds of companies and individuals for over 25 years. Many of those projects are confidential. We work with individuals as well as multinational corporations. You can check out our Collaborators page to see some of the non profit organizations and companies that the PDC has been partnered with.