Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
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Nanocellulose, Rethink Paper
Produced by the TAPPI association with funding, in part by the US Forest Service.
The Forest Products Industry is constantly searching for ways to unlock incredible innovations.
And where are we searching?
But especially in a place that we know well.
We've been making useful products from trees for years.
But now, but we're going even deeper into the tree for a new generation of products.
Using the science of nanotechnology, we are unlocking the tiny secrets nature has held for centuries.
But why are we doing this?
Because trees have so much to offer.
Trees and plants are sustainable, renewable materials.
They give us shelter, oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.
Trees also are the source of more than five thousand products you depend on every day.
Like lumber for homes, furniture, heating, tools, airplanes and even some of the food we eat.
Trees give us paper, packaging, medical products and other items used every day for home, school, work and play.
And the fibers that make up the tree also are used to make other products you use every day, better.
Trees even help us make bio fuels, an alternative fuel that can help lessen our dependency on oil.
But we've only just scratched the surface.
As we go deeper into the tree, we find even smaller fibers that have special properties to make products better.
Properties that make products more durable, lighter, stronger, thinner, smoother, more water resistant.
But we're not stopping there.
Using new scientific tools, we're uncovering even smaller fibers called nanocellulose.
These fibers will be used to make products better in such applications as automobiles, aerospace, defense and others.
And today, we are learning to use the smallest component yet, cellulose nano-crystals.
Stronger than metals, and very light, this special material is the key to unlocking new high tech materials.
Materials that people are just beginning to imagine.
And why are we searching?
Because we have an abundant, renewable resource with the potential for as many products as we can imagine.
And maybe, even more.
The world continues to demand more sustainable products.
And the forest products industry is searching for ways to deliver them, just like we've done, for centuries.
For more information on FPL's involvement with nanotechnology and the potential with transforming the forest products industry from production of raw materials, to new applications for composite and paper products
please click here.