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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: LCA Study for Pilot Scale Production of Cellulose Nano Crystals (CNC) from Wood Pulp

Source: Proceedings from the LCA XV Conference

Author(s)Gu, Hongmei; Reiner, Richard; Bergman, Richard; Rudie, Alan

Publication Year: 2015  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4709-2B  FPL-4851-7B

Abstract: Interest in cellulose nanocrystals (CNC)/cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) made from woody biomass has been growing rapidly with close attention from pulp and paper industry, governments, universities, and research institutes. Many new products development with CNCs have been studied intensively. However, little life-cycle analysis (LCA) has been conducted for the environmental impact from these nano-material-containing products and their associated production. Life-cycle analysis can identify environmental "hotspots", which can guide process design changes leading to reductions in the environmental footprint of nanocellulose production. A preliminary LCA was conducted on pilot-scale nanocellulose production at USDA Forest Product Laboratory. The nanocellulose produced at FPL has been tested in many applications, including coatings, microelectronics, high-strength transparent plastic composites, etc. Soon these applications will require the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI)/LCA from the raw material CNC for their new products' environmental impact analysis. Therefore, our LCA studies on nanocellulose production are critical and will be the foundation for further analysis as new products are commercialized.

Keywords: Cellulous nanocrystal (CNC), Life-cycle inventory, life-cycle assessment, commercial production, Nanotechnology

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 1,024 kb(s)

Date posted: 04/28/2016

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 79052
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Bergman, Richard
Research Forest Products Technologist
Gu, Hongmei
Forest Products Technologist
Rudie, Alan W.
Supervisory Research Chemist

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- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


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Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »