Mainebiz, Maine Public, WABI cover patent to create construction materials with CNF
Mainebiz and Maine Public reported that the University of Maine received a patent for a process to create construction materials that are bound with cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and offer increased durability and environmental friendliness. While the technology can be used to create a variety of commonly used building materials, the primary application focuses on a replacement for particle board, which is used widely in furniture and countertops. Particle board is traditionally manufactured from wood chips bound with a synthetic resin that typically contains formaldehyde, which is classified as a known human carcinogen. The process developed by UMaine researchers eliminates the use of formaldehyde as a binding agent, replacing it with a CNF slurry. The inventor is professor of chemical and biomedical engineering Doug Bousfield. Co-inventor is Michael Bilodeau, former director of the Process Development Center (PDC), a commercial-scale pilot plant on campus devoted to pulp and paper research and development. Mehdi Tajvidi, associate professor of renewable nanomaterials, also is a leading UMaine researcher in this area. WABI also reported on the development.