Researchers Honored for Life Cycle Assessment Work

The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) recently honored extraordinary leaders in life cycle assessment (LCA) at the LCA XVII Awards Dinner in Porthsmouth, New Hampshire. Among the winners was the Federal LCA Commons, of which Forest Products Laboratory researchers Richard Bergman, Hongmei Gu, and Shaobo Liang are a part. Continue reading

Video: FPL Brings Innovation to the Forest Products Industry with Nanocellulose

Happy National Forest Products Week!

One of the most exciting and innovative forest products today is nanocellulose, a product that is as strong as steel but five times lighter. Here at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), we produce nanocellulose and work with many partners to study potential commercial applications for this wonder material that brings wood to industries that perhaps have not incorporated it before.

The Forest Service recently produced a video that explains what nanocellulose is, how it’s produced, and what it can be made into. It might seem hard to believe that wood can be used to make ballistic glass, synthetic armor, replacement tendons (yes, in people!), or coatings that keep food fresh longer. But it’s all within reach, thanks to nanocellulose research…just watch and learn!

FPL to Host National Forest Products Week Event

In recognition of National Forest Products Week, the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) invites the public to attend a free showing of “Felled,” a documentary film about giving new life to fallen urban trees, followed by a discussion with local experts on urban trees and wood use.

Felled is a story about finding worth and beauty in something most consider to be trash. The film chronicles the journey of an urban pine tree downed by a summer storm and saved from the landfill by two woodworkers who give the tree new meaning as a family dinner table. Through interviews with industry experts, sawyers, arborists, artists, and woodworkers, including both Norm Abram and Nick Offerman, the film highlights the growing urban lumber movement and explores themes of waste, craftsmanship, and redemption.

The panel of local experts include Brian Brashaw (FPL), Dwayne Sperber (Wudeward and Wisconsin Urban Wood), Fred Clark (Baraboo Woodworks), and John Stephenson (Stephenson Tree care).

Tours of the Forest Products Laboratory will be available after the film and discussion.

Event Summary:

What: Free public showing of “Felled” documentary followed by a discussion with local experts on urban trees and wood use.
When: Tuesday, October 17th, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: USDA Forest Products Laboratory, 1 Gifford Pinchot Dr. Madison, WI 53726

National Forest Products Week is celebrated the third week in October every year to recognize the significance of the valuable products that come from our Nation’s forests, the people who manage our forests in a sustainable way, and the business who make quality forest products available to us all.

Renewable Energy Flooring Takes a Step Forward at Union South

The University of Wisconsin released the following article by Will Cushman about the advancement of a project the Forest Products Laboratory has been a collaborator on. Read on to see how simply walking on a wood floor can generate electricity!

Visitors to UW–Madison’s Union South walk across a section of floor designed and installed by College of Engineering researchers to capture the energy of footsteps and turn it into usable electricity. Photo: Adrienne Nienow

As thousands of visitors each day walk across a new flooring installation in UW–Madison’s Union South this fall, they might not realize they’re participating in what could very well represent a leap into the future of renewable energy production.

A research team led by Xudong Wang, a University of Wisconsin–Madison professor of materials science and engineering, in collaboration with the UW–Madison Grainger Institute for Engineering, has installed a high-tech flooring prototype that harvests the energy of footsteps and converts it into electricity. Continue reading