S9E1: Can Maine lead a revolution in consumer goods with nanocellulose?
In every plant and tree exist tiny fibers called nanocellulose, a building block like no other with the potential to be the next material that changes the world. This plant matter, which is a billionth of a meter in length, can be used to make packaging, building products, insulation, water filters, medical tools and countless other products. An abundant, biodegradable and renewable material, nanocellulose has the potential to replace plastic as a key component in consumer goods.
Nanocellulose research and production is already underway at the University of Maine. More than 100 clients worldwide purchase UMaine nanocellulose for their own research and development, and on-site client trials are conducted at the Process Development Center. The university has positioned itself as a leader in researching this material, and could help bolster Maine’s forestry industry and make the state a trailblazer in this market.
In the first episode of season nine of “The Maine Question,” we explore the manufacturing, functionality and possibilities for nanocellulose. We also discussed whether Maine can be home to a Silicon Valley-style nanocellulose sector, or Nanocellulose Valley. and lead a revolution in consumer goods with it.