Walker, Tajvidi talk with News Center Maine about ‘Nanocellulose Valley’

News Center Maine interviewed Colleen Walker and Medhi Tajvidi for its story about nanocellulose research at the University of Maine, the lone facility in the United States with the ability to produce 1 ton of nanocellulose per day. Nanocellulose, made from wood pulp, is renewable, biodegradable and strong, and can be used to make a number of eco-friendly products. “I believe it puts Maine in this very unique position. Maine has the potential to become what I call ‘Nanocellulose Valley,’” said Walker, director of UMaine’s Process and Development Center. “You have the production, you have the raw material through the state of Maine, and the people that can develop the application.” Tajvidi, an assistant professor of renewable nanomaterials at UMaine, told News Center that his target applications “are basically things that are high-volume, lower-value products like building products and household items.” Particleboard is one product that Tajvidi is working on creating with nanocellulose. “You replace that formaldehyde-based resin with nanocellulose, so basically we are using wood to bind wood products together.”