Nanocellulose was in the spotlight during a recent Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.
U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) highlighted work done at the University of Maine to support the forest economy and biobased industries, and emphasized the need for research and development institutions across the country to work together in support of American manufacturing and other home-grown industries.
"We have a goldmine of fiber in Maine, which historically has been used to make paper, [but] the paper industry has been brutally hammered in the last five or six years,” said Senator King.
The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and the University of Maine have partnered on nanocellulose research for several years. In 2013, a nanocellulose pilot plant was constructed at the University of Maine through a joint venture with the U.S. Forest Service. The plant has the capacity to produce one ton of cellulose nanofibrils per day.