Selected Projects - Nanocellulose Facility
The UMaine Cellulose Nanofiber Pilot Plant is the newest addition to the Process Development Center (PDC) at Jenness Hall. The new pilot plant was funded through a joint venture with the USDA Forest Service and is the only one of its kind in the U.S. Constructed in parallel to the Cellulose Nanocrystal Pilot Plant at the Forest Products Lab (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, the project will provide samples of biobased nanomaterials for application development. At UMaine, the grant funded the purchase of an ultrafine grinder, a spray dryer, and a major upgrade of stock preparation and refining capacity.
The purpose of the facility and the program is to:
- Provide researchers and early adopters of the technology with working quantities of a wide range of forest-based nanomaterials
- Develop scalable methods to convert wood components into novel, high-performance nanomaterials
- Improve methods to isolate and to characterize the various forms of nanocellulose
- Develop standards for various grades of nanocellulose
- Support emerging markets for products made from wood-derived renewable nanomaterials
- Provide a fee-for-service facility that industrial clients — individually or in consortiums — can utilize to advance their own research and development projects
The Forest Products Laboratory has recently opened a cutting-edge nanocellulose pilot plant in Madison, Wisconsin. To learn more, check out our page about the plant.