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


You are here: FPL Home  / Research  / Science that made a difference  / 2000-Present


ethanol closeup Making ethanol from biomass to meet energy demands - In 2005, FPL researchers patented a process of converting xylose to ethanol and xylitol. The conversion is through a fermentation process in which specialized yeast strains break down the xylose. This research will promote biomass as a way to meet increasing worldwide energy demands.

Producing three-dimensional structural biocomposites from small-diameter, underutilized, and hazardous-fuel trees and recycled fiber - This novel sandwich panel, called three-dimensional engineered fiberboard (3DEF), is wet formed and the water used in the process can be recycled. It is strong and stiff but much lighter in weight than many commercial wood composites.

International standard slows the spread of invasive species - Heat treatment protocols were developed to kill pests in packaging materials before they are shipped around the world. These protocols became the scientific basis to support new international shipping standards for wood packaging materials.

An environmentally sound soy adhesive is developed - Using soybean flour as the main component in an adhesive proved to be successful for FPL researchers and a cooperator. This research is looking into replacing part of the existing adhesive for oriented strandboard, plywood, and molded wood products.

composites Improving accessibility for Americans with disabilities by using engineered wood fiber surfaces for playgrounds - Stabilized engineered wood fiber (SEWF) is a thin top layer of loose mulch-like mixture of hardwood chips bonded together with stabilizing binders. This forms a resilient, uniform surface that allows for easy navigation of wheelchairs and walkers, while the hardwood chips under the SEWF remain loose and provide cushioning for falls from the playground equipment.