About the PDC

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The UMaine Process Development Center (PDC) is pleased to offer our facility, equipment, and expertise for cooperative research and development projects. For nearly thirty years, the PDC has set the industry standard for collaborative pulp and paper research and in recent years has expanded into other technology areas, such as bioplastics, solid and liquid biofuels and nanomaterials.

“The PDC is a shared collaboration facility where researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders work together to develop new products and improve manufacturing processes.”

We recognize the importance of meeting the emerging and constantly shifting needs of the marketplace. We have a long track record of collaborating with partners to support traditional manufacturing as well as to create entirely new products from forest and agriculturally derived raw materials. Over the years, the PDC has also served a unique role in supporting public-private partnerships, particularly within the forest products industry. Our knowledgeable staff and faculty works closely with clients across all stages of product development, from conceptual beginnings to successful commercialization. We have collaborated with hundreds of private sector clients, on both long and short-term projects, providing timely service and delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions.

The exterior of Jenness HallThe PDC’s top-of-the-line facility is equipped to work with a wide variety of raw materials, from wood and bark to herbaceous crops and agricultural residuals. Some of the processes available for our clients include extraction, pulping, bleaching, papermaking, coating, and finishing, as well as extensive paper testing and full use of our analytical capabilities. We are currently working on advanced fiber processing technologies, developing specialized, scalable nanotechnologies, and co-developing environmentally responsible products to meet market demands for sustainable materials. Other product innovations include a non-toxic grease-proof coating additive, a new class of environmental remediation technology, a unique cellulose insulation product, and new bio-based paper strength and processing aids. The PDC is also working with a dedicated group of organizations to help launch a new bioplastics industry in Maine, making the PDC one of the first facilities in the US to engineer plastic from potatoes and wood by-products. Some examples of recently licensed technologies include a bio-based, non-toxic oil and grease resistant coating for food packaging, a flame resistant fiberboard used in commercial roofing applications, and a biodegradable landfill cover that controls fugitive odors.

“Here at the PDC, we will support you throughout the entire process – from concept development, validation, pilot demonstration, and through to successful commercialization.”

Advancing a product from concept to commercial success can sometimes seem a daunting prospect. This is especially true for start-up companies which may not have the facilities or the staff to bring an idea to market. The staff of the Process Development Center offers you open access to our facility and resources.  We will support you throughout the entire process – from concept development, validation, pilot demonstration, and through to successful commercialization. Whether you’re a well-established industry leader or a fledgling tech start-up, as our client you can expect world-class technical expertise and access to cutting-edge technology and equipment.