Solar cells fabricated on cellulose nanocrystal films open the door for truly recyclable solar cell technology.

FPL focuses its research initiatives in the following 5 Research Emphasis Areas ...

Advanced Composites
(30 highlights)
Advanced Structures
(51 highlights)
Advanced Strutures
(1 highlights)
Forest Biorefinery
(14 highlights)
Forest Biorefinery
(1 highlights)
(25 highlights)
Woody Biomass Utilization
(35 highlights)
Woody Biomass Utlization
(1 highlights)

Panels Made from Wood and Recycled Fibers Go To Hollywood and Around the World.

FPL is organized into the following 7 Research Units ...

Building and Fire Sciences
(17 highlights)
Durability and Wood Protection Research
(18 highlights)
Economics, Statistics and Life Cycle Analysis Research
(16 highlights)
Engineered Composites Science
(32 highlights)
Engineering Mechanics and Remote Sensing Laboratory (EMRSL)
(1 highlights)
Engineering Properties of Wood, Wood Based Materials, and Structures
(17 highlights)
Fiber and Chemical Sciences Research
(13 highlights)
Forest Biopolymer Science and Engineering
(25 highlights)
Institute for Microbial and Biochemical Techology
(15 highlights)
Wood Anatomy and Forest Mycology in a Changing Global Environment
(6 highlights)
Agarwal, Umesh P.
Research Chemist
(2 highlights)
Bergman, Richard
Research Forest Products Technologist
(7 highlights)
Bilek, Ted
(3 highlights)
Cai, Zhiyong
Supervisory Research Materials Engineer
(14 highlights)
Clausen, Carol A.
Supervisory Research Microbiologist
(4 highlights)
Clemons, Craig M.
Materials Research Engineer
(7 highlights)
Considine, John M.
Materials Research Engineer
(1 highlights)
Crooks, M.E. Casey
Research Microbiologist
(3 highlights)
Cullen, Daniel
Research Microbiologist
(5 highlights)
Dietenberger, Mark A.
Research General Engineer
(6 highlights)
Evans, James W.
Mathematical Statistician
(1 highlights)
Falk, Robert H.
Research General Engineer
(1 highlights)
Frihart, Charles R.
Research Chemist
(1 highlights)
Frihart, Charles R.
Research Chemist
(6 highlights)
Glass, Samuel V.
Research Physical Scientist
(7 highlights)
Green, Frederick
Research Microbiologist
(2 highlights)
Hammel, Kenneth E.
Research Chemist
(2 highlights)
Hermanson, John C.
Research General Engineer
(1 highlights)
Houtman, Carl J.
Chemical Engineer
(3 highlights)
Hunt, Christopher G.
Research Chemist
(5 highlights)
Hunt, John F.
Research General Engineer
(4 highlights)
Ibach, Rebecca E.
Research Chemist
(2 highlights)
Illman, Barbara L.
Supervisory Plant Pathologist
(1 highlights)
Jakes, Joseph
Research Materials Engineer
(4 highlights)
Kersten, Philip J.
Research Microbiologist
(2 highlights)
Kirker, Grant
Research Forest Products Technologist
(1 highlights)
Kretschmann, David E.
Research General Engineer
(3 highlights)
Lebow, Patricia K.
Mathematical Statistician
(2 highlights)
Lebow, Stan T.
Research Forest Products Technologist
(4 highlights)
McKeever, David B.
Research Forester
(2 highlights)
Moon, Robert J.
Materials Research Engineer
(6 highlights)
Rammer, Douglas R.
Research General Engineer
(3 highlights)
Ross, Robert J.
Supervisory Research Gen. Engineer
(8 highlights)
Rudie, Alan W.
Supervisory Research Chemist
(4 highlights)
Sabo, Ronald C.
Research Materials Engineer
(6 highlights)
Schueneman, Gregory
Supervisory Research Materials Engineer
(3 highlights)
St. Johns, Franz
Research Microbiologist
(4 highlights)
Stark, Nicole M.
Research Chemical Engineer
(6 highlights)
Tshabalala Mandla A.
Research Chemist
(2 highlights)
Verrill, Steve P.
Mathematical Statistician
(1 highlights)
Wacker, James P.
Research General Engineer
(4 highlights)
Wang, Xiping
Research Forest Products Technologist
(7 highlights)
Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.
Research Botanist
(2 highlights)
Wiemann, Michael C.
(2 highlights)
Yelle, Daniel
Research Forest Products Technologist
(2 highlights)
Zelinka, Samuel L.
Materials Research Engineer
(8 highlights)
Zhu, JunYong
Research General Engineer
(2 highlights)
Full listing of all Research Highlights sorted by their title.

HighlightTitlePublication Year
Tactical shelter door made using 3D engineered fiberboard made from laminated paper. John Hunt, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 582
3D Engineered Panels from Laminated Paper Composites have Broad Potential

Forest Service researchers are studying the use of high-strength laminated paper composite material as a low-cost replacement for aluminum and synthetic fiber-based composite panels for a variety of applications. Through proper three-dimensional engi ...
Cellulose nanofibril smart sponge absorbs oil which is floating on the top of water. Bryce Richter, University of Wisconsin
Highlight ID: 579
A "Smart Sponge" Soaks Up Pollutants

This "smart sponge" is one of a number of applications under development for the tiny wood fibers known as cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). The fibers possess a number of unique properties including renewability, high surface areas, high aspect ratios, a ...
Board treated with copper-based preservatives showing premature signs of rot caused by copper-tolerant brown rot fungi. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 616
A Knowledge-based Approach for Developing Green Building Solutions

Scientists are using gene discovery to accelerate their understanding of copper tolerance in wood decay fungi and create green solutions for wood protection. ...
Schematic of the innovative impedance spectroscopy experiments performed at the US Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory that showed electrical conduction in wood is governed by percolation theory. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 154
A percolation model for water and electrical conduction in wood with implications for durability

Recently, researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory and University of Wisconsin have developed a new model of electrical conduction in wood that provides a good fit to experimental data, offers insight into the mechanism of conduction, and integr ...
X-ray fluorescence microscopy maps of concentration of chlorine (bottom) and potassium  (top) ions as a function of relative humidity.  The scale bar represents 20 microns. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 601
Advancing Understanding of Wood Damage Mechanisms

Forest Service researchers examined the diffusion of ions in wood using synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy. The researchers found that there was a threshold moisture content below which diffusion does not occur. These data can help to ...
The Portland Mills Covered Bridge in Parke County, Indiana, has a Burr-Archtruss design. James Wacker, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 284
America's Historic Covered Timber Bridges

Covered wooden bridges proliferated in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. Today an estimated 800 covered bridge structures remain as cherished links to the technological heritage of the United States. The through-truss designs vary from ...
Laser scanning technologies further preservation efforts of historic covered bridges. Jim Wacker, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 25
America's Iconic Covered Bridges Documented With As Built Records

Laser scanning technology provides details of historic covered timber bridges ...
X-ray radiation method to determine moisture gradient in wood. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 162
An Innovative Method for Determining Moisture Gradient of Wood Products

Changes in moisture content of wood-based composite materials can lead to linear expansion and, more specifically, hygroexpansion. This can cause severe internal stresses resulting in deformities and defects such as warping, surface checks, and honey ...
Wood and Timber Condition Assessment Manual. Tivoli Gough, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 583
Assessment Manual for Timber Structures Helps Building Inspectors

The Wood and Timber Condition Assessment Manual is an extremely valuable resource for wood design professionals. Forest Service scientists are leading experts in this field and are the "go-to source" for information regarding condition assessment. T ...
Cellulose nanofibril-based electronics after 60 days of degradation test; fungus fully covers the film. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 605
Biodegradable Computer Chips Made From Wood

The current consumable materials used in the electronics industry are neither recyclable nor sustainable. To reduce the use of expensive materials for electronics and to better protect the environment, recyclable and sustainable materials need to be ...
Molecular model of cobalt salcomine with an oxygen attached. Tom Elder, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 658
Catalytic Pulping of Wood

The kraft pulping process has been around for more than 100 years. It is cost effective and efficient but provides a low fiber yield and a complex and expensive chemical recovery process. Using oxygen activated by a transition metal catalyst has the ...
Forest Service scientists Alan Rudie (left) and Richard Reiner stand with cellulose nanocrystals manufactured at the Forest Products Laboratory. Steve Schmieding, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 578
Cellulose Nano-enabled Products: Applications and Volume Estimates

Cellulose nanomaterials are the next big (albeit, small) thing in wood. They can be combined in numerous ways to change the way many products work. This research identified potential end product markets and provided estimates of the potential demand ...
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of the formation of silver nanoparticles on the surface of Tunicate CNCs. Robert Moon, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 301
Cellulose Nanocrystals

Cellulose nanocrystals are ultra-small rod-like reinforcement material that can be extracted from trees, plants and some sea animals. This new technology has potential benefit to a variety of cellulose based industries such as paper, packaging, texti ...
Sequential vacuum treatment of southern pine with naturally occurring cellulose nanocrystals followed by biocide demonstrated penetration of wood before agglomeration occurred (left), but reversing the treatment sequence resulted in agglomeration on the surface of southern pine (right). USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 602
Cellulose Nanocrystals Chemically Entrap Biocide in Wood

Forest Service scientists evaluated naturally occurring cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) that are reported to have unique chemical properties and impart high strength were evaluated for the potential to improve durability of wood. CNC were shown to penet ...

Highlight ID: 191
Cellulose Nanocrystals: Novel Templates for the Synthesis of Nanostructures

Harvesting the properties of widely available natural biopolymers for the design of novel systems in nanobiotechnology has been largely ignored in favor of other biological molecules, such as proteins, viruses, or DNA. A joint research effort between ...
Flexible electronic substrate made from cellulose nanomaterial. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 8
Cellulose Nanofiber Composites Can Serve as Substrate for Flexible Electronics

Transparent films made from cellulose nanofibers have low thermal expansion and the potential to serve as a foundation for flexible electronics. ...

Highlight ID: 170
Centennial Edition, Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material

The Wood Handbook—Wood as an Engineering Material serves as a primary reference document for a wide variety of users-from the general public through architects and design engineers who use wood in highly engineered structures. ...
Transmission electron microscope image of cellulose nanocrystals. Robert Moon, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 449
Ceramic-Like Thermal Expansion Obtained from Cellulose Nanocrystal Films

One of the unique properties of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) are their low dimensional change with changes in temperature. Understanding the role and mechanism associated with thermal expansion within CNCs and CNC composites is important to a variety ...
Comparative expression levels of Paenibacillus sp JDR-2 polysaccharide utilization genes when grown on select plant-derived substrates. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 663
Characterization of Microbial Biocatalysts in Lignocellulosic Utilization

Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass would benefit from development of second generation bacterial biocatalysts. The bacterium Paenibacillus sp. strain JDR2, originally isolated from decaying sweetgum wood disks, has the ability to process a vari ...

Highlight ID: 189
Characterizing cellular properties in wood to better understand bulk wood properties

A current aim in forest products research is to efficiently modify wood to tailor it for specific end uses, such as hardening softwoods for flooring or softening wood in pretreatments for biorefineries. ...
Bacterial infection in termites experiencing colony collapse. The red coloration in the termite
Highlight ID: 302
Colony collapse of Eastern subterranean termites

Termite colonies in laboratory and field tests were rapidly eliminated using a trap, treat and release method with commercial termite toxicants and a patented termite bait developed at the Forest Products Laboratory. Characteristic changes occurred i ...
Three dimensional model of the Button Mushroom enzyme that metabolizes degraded leaf litter. Daniel Cullen, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 445
Common Button Mushroom Studied for Key Role in Recycling Carbon

Recent genome studies of Agaricus reveal specialized adaptations to litter- and soil-rich environments which may be used to remediate contaminated soils. ...
Mass Loss Calorimeter modified to include thermopile on chimney walls to compensate for radiant energy errors of the in-flow thermopile. Laura Hasburgh, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 608
Comparison of Two Bench-scale Tests Used for Obtaining Heat Release Rate

There is a growing demand for material properties to be used as inputs in fire behavior models designed to address building fire safety. This comparative study evaluates using the mass loss calorimeter as a low-cost alternative to the cone calorimete ...
Cone calorimeter testing simulates realistic fire scenarios. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 13
Cone Calorimetry Takes Center Stage in Evaluating Fire Retardancy of Wood Products

Evaluations of cone calorimeter tests are now documented in handbook ...
Serious wood/metal corrosion of a fastener under a deck in Branson, MO. Samuel L. Zelinka, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 278
Corrosion of metals in wood

Corrosion data are necessary for the safe design and construction of wood decks and patios. Previous research was unable to calculate corrosion rates because the surface areas of threaded fasteners are difficult to calculate. This work builds upon ...
Graphene produced from lignin, a complex polymer commonly derived from wood. Zhiyong Cai, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 442
Creating Advanced Graphene Material from Lignin

Graphene materials are produced from carbon containing compounds by physical, thermal, or chemical process in either the gas, liquid, or solid phase. Forest Service scientists and their partners at Mississippi State University are working together to ...
A galvanized joist hanger corrodes on a wood deck. Forest Service researchers developed a desk reference to help people select the appropriate construction materials to prevent these failures. Samuel Zelinka, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 438
Desk Reference on Fastener Corrosion Created for Engineers

Fastener corrosion is a design consideration when building exterior wood structures. Forest Products Laboratory researchers recently developed a desk reference for fastener corrosion with wood to help engineers select appropriate construction materia ...
Commercial dry kiln is used to heat treat freshly cut hardwood firewood for interstate commerce. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 279
Develop thermal verification guidelines for firewood heat treatment

To stop further spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has enforced a heat treatment process for the U.S. firewood industry to heat sterilize all hardwood firewood before it can be shipped o ...
A fire growth model for homeowner-sized plats is being developed with state-of-the-art testing of realistic objects. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 289
Developing a fire model for homeowner-sized plats - Protecting lives and properties through proper selection of building and landscape materials

This research is directed to development of fire growth model for the homeowner sized plat that would guide the user on better and aesthetic selections of building and landscaping construction to significantly reduce impact of an encroaching wild lan ...
Combustion tests and fire dynamics simulations allow researchers to characterize combustion rates, calorimetry, gas emissions, effective and total heat of combustion, and convective and radiative heat fluxes. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 622
Developing the Next Generation of Forest Fire Behavior Models

Efforts are underway to develop the next generation of forest fire behavior models, and Forest Service researchers are extending their knowledge of the fire behavior of wood materials to the realm of forest materials. ...
Atomic force microscope image of nanoindents placed in a Loblolly pine cell wall. For perspective, a typical human hair is about 50 m in diameter. Joseph E. Jakes, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 290
Developing tools to assess mechanical properties of wood cell walls

Nanoindentation is a tool capable of probing mechanical properties at the sub-micrometer level, such as in wood cell walls, individual components in a wood-based composite, coatings, adhesive bondlines, etc. However, conventional nanoindentation meth ...
Proposed Van der waals interactions between a xylooligosaccharide and an appendage depended xylan degrading enzyme. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 662
Development of Enzymes for use in Lignocellulose Processing

The ultimate best use of lignocellulose allows for the selective extraction of defined value streams. To facilitate this, Forest Service research strives to develop new enzymes with unique capabilities in biomass processing. These new enzymes aim to ...
Scanning electron image of cellulose nanocrystals coordinated to the surface of an epoxy particle. Natalie Girouard, Georgia Institute of Technology
Highlight ID: 614
Discovery of Cellulose Nanocrystals as Pot-life Stabilizers for Epoxy Coatings

Waterborne epoxy coatings are high-value, sought-after environmentally friendly products in the coating industry mostly due to their ease of use, performance and low maintenance. Waterborne epoxy coatings are part of a $56 to 64 billion industry. Add ...
Adhesive test with low-quality veneer.  Forest Service
Highlight ID: 1
Do Not Blame Adhesives When Veneers Are Guilty

Perfectly good adhesives may be wrongly discarded after failing a performance test when in actuality the veneer caused the failure. ...
Stake plots in the Harrison Experimental Forest, Saucier, Mississippi, evaluate the durability of wood products. Stan Lebow, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 291
Durable wood product evaluations

In an effort to reduce the amount of time required to obtain meaningful durability data for wood products, it has become widely accepted to use smaller specimens in field tests. Smaller specimens generally yield faster results but tests comparing sma ...
Historical data on real prices of softwood sawtimber in the U.S. South and overlapping 2012 baseline projections of prices to 2060 (in 2006 dollars per cubic meter). Peter Ince, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 26
Economic Model Predicts U.S. Forest Product Markets and Timber Demand Trends

Model provides insights on how U.S. competition and trade in forest products could be affected by expanded global use of wood for energy in future decades ...
Researchers studied the effect of diet on carpenter ant brood development. Clemson University, USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,
Highlight ID: 604
Effects of Diet on Brood Development in the Carpenter Ant

A Forest Service scientist fed carpenter ants an artificial diet, and variations of this diet, with nutrient components removed to examine the effects on brood development. The potential B vitamin and sterol contribution of a yeast found associated w ...
Effects of Press Sizes on Internal Steam Pressure during Particleboard Hot-Pressing Process. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 163
Effects of Press Sizes on Internal Steam Pressure during Particleboard Hot-Pressing Process

Internal steam pressure produced during the hot-pressing cycle in particleboard production is critical to the newly developed bond strength that will determine the overall performance of particleboard. The difference between the accumulation of inter ...
The figure shows two-dimensional NMR spectra of control (unreacted) loblolly pine and loblolly pine that has been reacted with a model compound of pMDI adhesive. The labels A, B, and C (and α, β, γ positions) relate to the chemical structures at the bottom of the figure. The contours labeled with a subscript r show reacted wood cell wall polymers. The reactivity of the lignin sidechains clearly dominates over all other wood cell wall polymers. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 173
Elucidating Covalent Bond Formation and Cleavage in Wood

Working with a group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Biochemistry, FPL researchers have discovered mechanistic details behind some long-standing theories of wood adhesion and brown-rot fungal decay. Firstly, solution-state nucle ...

Highlight ID: 280
Elucidating Covalent Bond Formation and Cleavage in Wood

A new technique has been developed to monitor structural changes in the polymers present in wood cell walls. This allows researchers, for example, to look at how brown rot fungi attack lignin structures when the fungi degrade cell walls. It has also ...
The process elements for the biomass gasification concept that are incorporated into the spreadsheet model. Edward M. (Ted) Bilek, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 303
Engineering and Economic Modeling of Biofuels Production

FPL researchers developed a flexible and customizable computer model that allows users to do a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of incorporating a biomass gasification plant into an existing pulp mill. The user can model the biomass gas pro ...

Highlight ID: 188
Engineering Standard for Moisture Control in Buildings

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 160-2009, Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings, was published in May 2009. This engineering standard was developed over the past 13 years by an international committee chaired by an FPL scientist. The standa ...
Nanocellulose (upper left), an engineering plastic (upper right), and compound made from them (center). Test specimens made from the compound (bottom). Craig Clemons, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 580
Enhancing High-Performance Plastics with Nanocellulose

Forest Service scientists are using nanocellulose to improve the performance of engineering plastics. By applying advanced processing methods, the scientists are able to temporarily reduce the melting point of the engineering plastic so that nanocell ...
Near-woods integrated system for processing post-harvest residues into bioenergy products. Richard Bergman, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 652
Environmental Evaluation of Converting Post-harvest Forest Residues to Bioenergy Products

Forest residues are a low-value byproduct of timber harvest operations that are typically burned or left to rot. Using forest residues as a bioenergy source replacing fossil fuels may decrease fossil-fuel-based greenhouse gass emissions. Accordingly, ...
FPL researchers developed a new method for producing a suitable component of bioplastics from glucose, which can be derived from wood and other forms of biomass. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 437
Enzyme Combo Results in Bioplastics Composite

Developing bioplastics as a means of moving away from non-renewable, petroleum-based products has many economic and environmental benefits. Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory recently developed a new way to produce furylglycolic acid (FA), ...

Highlight ID: 159
Estimation of environmental emissions associated with U.S. production of lumber and wood panel products including harvesting, forest regeneration, transport and manufacturing

Life-cycle research on wood products plays a vital role in developing strategies for mitigating climate change. The main driving force behind climate change has been the release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. Un ...
Flooring made of old-growth Douglas-fir salvaged from deconstructed military barracks. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 281
Evaluating the environmental impact of building material recovery and reuse

Within the green building and sustainable construction fields, there is a growing movement to recover and reuse building materials in lieu of demolition and landfill disposal. Reuse has several benefits including reducing carbon footprint, conserving ...
Oxygen index test of a wood-plastic composite. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 161
Evaluation of Various Fire Retardants for Use in Wood Flour/Polyethylene Composites

Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) represent a class of materials increasingly used in residential construction and furniture-making. The fire performance of WPCs is not well understood, however, and there is little information regarding the effectivenes ...
Fabrication of recycled fiber. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 165
Fabrication Utilization of Recycled Fiber/Agricultural Fiber Panels and Exhibit

The Forest Products Laboratory's research using anaerobically digested agricultural waste fibers combined with recycled paper fibers to make structural panels was selected by a prominent design firm for use as the main fabrication material for the Su ...

Highlight ID: 178
Fast Forward' Genetics for Renewable Fuels

Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory used mutagenesis, strain selection and genetic manipulation over a period of seven years to develop improved strains of yeasts that will produce renewable fuel (ethanol) from wood residues. ...
Electron micrograph image showing the unusual failure of release coating on a postage stamp. Dark regions are pressure-sensitive adhesive; light regions are silicone-release coating that has pulled away from backing paper liner. Tom Kuster, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 22
Forest Service Continues To Make a Better Postage Stamp

Latest research reduces the environmental effect of stamp materials ...
This fossil forest in Ethiopia once had a very different climate. John Kappelman, University of Texas
Highlight ID: 621
Fossil Forests of Ethiopia Suggest Region's late Oligocene Climate was Wetter Than Today

Don't believe in climate change? Check out the woods from this Oligocene forest in Ethiopia. ...
Blown film extrusion of completely biobased poly(lactic acid) and cellulose nanocrystal polymer composites.  Sonal Karkhanis and Anna Kace Marra, Michigan State University.
Highlight ID: 654
FPL<>Renewable, Biodegradable Polylactic Acid-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites for Packaging Applications

Packaging research conducted at the Forest Products Laboratory is aimed at developing fully biobased composites containing cellulose nanomaterials for packaging applications. Cellulose nanomaterials exhibit a number of interesting properties and have ...
Postia, a genus of brown rot fungi. Dan Cullen, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 665
Fungi Use Multiple Strategies for Deconstruction of Woody Biomass

A diverse array of enzymes catalyze the bioconversion of wood toward biofuels and other high-value products. ...

Highlight ID: 185
Heat Sterilization of Firewood for Thermal Eradication of Emerald Ash Borer

FPL researchers have led a joint research effort with USDA APHIS and state regulatory staff to evaluate various heat treatment options and heating times for ash firewood and help firewood industry to successfully implement the heat treatment process ...
Wooden ammunition pallets are placed in a laboratory kiln to be heat treated for ISPM-15 standard. Xiping Wang, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 282
Heat treating wooden ammunition pallets for invasive species

Wood pallets serve as support for munitions loads and other military supplies transported within the continental U.S. and internationally. Despite this integral transport function, wood pallets have been identified as a major pathway for the introduc ...
Cross-section of wood cell wall. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 659
Heat Treatment of Green Wood Accomplishes Crystal Hardening

After centuries of study, the structure of the woody cell wall remains poorly understood. Regarding cellulose crystals in green wood, X-ray methods demonstrate the repeating structure of a crystal, but Raman Spectroscopy methods reveal a high level o ...
Wood decay fungus Ceriporiopsis subvermispora colonizing wood vessels. Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Highlight ID: 9
Hidden Lives of Wood Decay Fungi Uncovered by Genome Sequencing

The decoded genomes of 12 species reveal a complex repertoire of proteins involved in the deconstruction of key polymers within wood cell walls ...
TEM micrograph of electrospun polymethyl methacrylate fibers containing 17 weight percent cellulose nano-crystals/Alan Rudie, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 283
High Performance nano-Cellulose Composites

Cellulose nano-crystals (CNC) and cellulose nano-fibrils (CNF) provide strength properties equivalent to Kevlar and can be used in optically clear applications like composite windshields. The Forest Products Laboratory is supporting a project at the ...
Uniform dispersion and neutral color of a polypropylene: CNC composites produced with solid state shear pulverization (a), and the opposite case for a standard melt mixer composite with excessive thermal degradation (b). Krishnan Iyer, Northwestern University
Highlight ID: 612
High-performance Cellulose Nanocrystal Polyolefin Composites are an Attractive Filler for Polymer Composites

Nanocellulose-polypropylene and nanocellulose-polyethylene composites exhibited the greatest improvement ever reported for such composites made with unmodified cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Therefore, addition of biorenewable CNCs to the over 50 mill ...
Schematic illustration of the capillary photoelectrochemical water splitting process. Tivoli C. Gough, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 651
Highly-Efficient Capillary Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting Using Cellulose Nanofiber-Templated TiO2 Photoanodes

Among current endeavors to explore renewable energy technologies, photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting holds great promise for conversion of solar energy to chemical energy. Light absorption, charge separation, and appropriate interfacial redox ...

Highlight ID: 158
History of lumber submissions under ASTM D 1990 since the North American In-Grade testing program

The North American In-Grade Testing Program, begun in the mid-1970s, tested more than 70,000 full-size specimens of North American production lumber representative of the total specimen population throughout the geographic range of production. Forest ...
The dots are microscopic beads and the lines are fungal hyphae. The beads turn from red to green when exposed to oxidation. Notice that the bead next to the fungus is more green than the others. USDA Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 618
How Does Wood Decay Start?

How do fungi rot wood? Using new tools, fluorescent dye attached to tiny beads, and laser confocal microscopy, Forest Service scientists were able to follow oxidation on a microscopic level. The information is helping them zero-in on the chemicals fu ...

Highlight ID: 186
Identification of economically significant death-watch and spider beetles in Wisconsin

Two widely distributed beetle families, the death-watch (Anobiidae) and spider beetles (Ptinidae), include a number of economically significant species which cause damage to wooden materials and/or stored products. Distribution and abundance of sever ...
Basidiospores of Corticium murrillii stained with cotton blue. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 600
Identifying Unusual or Poorly Known Decay Fungi

Most wood inhabiting fungi are essential to sustain healthy forests and biodiversity, but a few cause serious diseases. Correctly identifying species and understanding their relatedness is a powerful predictive tool for evaluating beneficial and pote ...
Two-dimensional rendering of three-dimensional chemistry of poplar wood with representative spectra of lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. Barbara Illman and USDA Forst Service
Highlight ID: 620
Imaging Wood Chemicals in Three Dimensions

For the first time, chemicals in wood were visualized in 3-dimensions. This advance in chemical analysis will help clarify scientists' understanding of wood architecture, strength properties, durability, and cell wall deconstruction for conversion of ...

Highlight ID: 160
Improved Composites from Wood Flour and Mixed Plastics

In a cooperative project with Louisiana State University, Forest Products Laboratory researchers have used crosslinking technologies, commonly used in the cable coating industry, to optimize the performance of composites of mixed plastics and wood fl ...

Highlight ID: 156
Improving Accelerated Testing of Durable Wood Products

Durable wood products such as posts, poles and timbers are expected to resist decay and termite attack for several decades. Testing the durability of new types of wood products is challenging because it is impractical to conduct tests for more than a ...
Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers who performed small angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments to study the effects of chemical modifications and moisture on the wood nanostructure at the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor Bio-SANS beamline. From left to right, Joseph Jakes (FPL), Nayomi Plaza (FPL), Shou Qian (ORNL), and Venky Pingali (ORNL). Joseph Jakes, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 664
Improving Moisture Durability of Forest Products Using Small-angle Neutron Scattering

Moisture is the underlying cause of numerous durability issues in forest products, including decay, lack of dimensional stability, and fastener corrosion. An improved understanding of where and how water is absorbed in wood nanostructure will acceler ...
Researchers are developing improved methods for processing cellulose nanofibrils. Rob Sabo, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 653
Improving the Hydrolysis and Fibrillation of Wood Into Cellulose Nanomaterials

Cellulose nanomaterials have been receiving an increasing amount of interest from both the scientific and industrial communities because of their interesting properties, including good strength, absorbency, and optical properties, such as transparenc ...

Highlight ID: 174
Increasing the Value of Slash by Use in Oriented Strand Board

The project takes a closer look at chunkwood processing first developed in 1977 at the Northern Research Station lab in Houghton, MI. Branches and tree tops as small as 2 inch diameter are cut to 5 inch length, debarked, sliced into veneer chips and ...
Researchers evaluated the Ming Dynasty Tombs and the Palace Museum located in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 586
Inspection Protocols Help Preserve Ancient Chinese Structures

Forest Service scientists worked with Chinese scientists and engineers to develop inspection procedures to aid in the preservation and restoration of historically significant wood structures. ...

Highlight ID: 304
Integrating the Production of Nanofibrillated Cellulose and Biofuels

FPL researchers have demonstrated a method of integrating the production of cellulose nanofibers and biofuels. Such a strategy is expected to improve the economics and reduce the financial risks associated with producing nanocellulose and biofuels fr ...
Flames in wood crib of creosote-treated timbers, approximately eight minutes after application of hot metal wafer. Robert White, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 589
Intumescent Coating for Fire Protection of Structures

After years of development by industry, Forest Service scientists conducted specialized fire tests to prove the value of intumescent coating for fire protection. They developed a hot metal test to verify the superiority of commercial intumescent coat ...
The Cox Ford Bridge in Parke County, Indiana, has a Burr-arch truss configuration. James Wacker, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 433
Keeping America's Historic Covered Bridges Safe for Vehicular Traffic

The Forest Products Laboratory, in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service is sponsoring a comprehensive research program on Historic Covered Timber Bridges in the United States. This national program's main ...
An excerpt from a Business to Consumer EPD for western redcedar decking. Jennifer O
Highlight ID: 285
Labeling Wood Products Based on Environmental Impacts - Helping consumers make sustainable choices

Environmental product declaration (EPD) is a summary of the environmental impacts associated with producing and using a product or service. An EPD is based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) and can be used to compare products on an equal basis. EPDs a ...
Surface color of modified (B, C, D) and unmodified (A) western red cedar before (0 h) and after (720 h) of artificial weathering in a WeatherOmeter. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 305
Lumen filling and sol-gel reinforcement of the wood cell wall

FPL researchers used a two-prong strategy to enhance weathering properties of wood. This dual treatment showed promise in protecting wood against the combined effects of sunlight and moisture. ...
Assessing Wood Utilization Options for Urban Trees Infected by Invasive Species is a comprehensive manual that can be used by professionals. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 23
Making the Most of Beetle-Killed Trees

New manual gives land managers a variety of options for beetle-killed trees ...
Exterior walls of test huts viewed from the southeast. Lance Barta, Home Innovation Research Labs
Highlight ID: 617
Managing Moisture in Energy-efficient Wall Systems

Moisture durability is critical for design and construction of energy-efficient buildings. Field measurements of moisture characteristics for highly insulated walls in mixed-humid climates are lacking. Researchers from the Forest Service's Forest Pro ...
Wood char particles and carbon-encapsulated iron nanoparticles. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 4
Metal Core Nanoparticles Created From Wood Char, a Bioenergy Byproduct

Shell-encapsulated metal core carbon nanoparticles have potential applications in magnetic data storage, xerography, drug delivery, and as a catalyst in other chemical reactions ...
Physical phenomena described by mathematical models for indoor humidity in homes. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 153
Modeling indoor humidity in homes

Indoor humidity levels in a home influence not only occupant comfort and indoor air quality but also the durability of the building, especially in cold climates. Researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory undertook a critical assessment of the lit ...
Homes with raised floors in New Orleans, Louisiana. Samuel V. Glass, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 286
Moisture Control in Crawl Spaces in Louisiana

Builders and homeowners in the Gulf Region often ask how to insulate a crawl space to avoid moisture problems. The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), in cooperation with Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, monitored conditions in a dozen h ...
Continuous fiber spun from nanocellulose and other polymers and additives. Craig Clemons, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 443
Nanocellulose Gels Spun Into Continuous Fibers for Use in Advanced Composites

Forest Service scientists worked with the University of Wisconsin to spin nanocellulose gels into continuous fibers so that they can be used more efficiently in advanced composites. The researchers are optimizing the spinning process and investigatin ...
Fumigating with essential oils from plants like dill kills termites. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 152
Natural fumigants protect wood against termites

Forest Products Laboratory researchers discovered that essential oils from some common plants such as dill, rosemary and lemongrass can be used as fumigants to kill termites. ...
An unidentified waxy substance in honey mesquite cells creates a physical barrier against fungal hyphae. Tom Kuster, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 7
Natural Wood Durability Studied to Estimate Wood's Performance

Naturally occurring chemicals in some wood species make them more durable against deterioration ...
The acoustic measurement system developed by Forest Service scientists and their collaborators has been integrated into the harvesting processor head, enabling tree quality evaluation during the harvesting operation. Peter Carter, Fibre-gen
Highlight ID: 436
New Acoustic Technology Evaluates Wood Quality of Standing Trees

Lack of techniques to assess the quality of standing trees results in inefficient allocation of timber resources and also limits the ability of forest managers to grow high-quality wood with appropriate silvicultural treatments. To address the proble ...
Highlight ID: 14
New Cellulose Nanomaterials Pilot Plant Keeps Up With Market Demand

Materials are being supplied to three government agencies and six partner universities to accelerate the development of advanced cellulose-reinforced composites, and printed, flexible electronic circuits and products ...

Highlight ID: 5
New Drying Process Gives Black Locust Wood Exotic Appearance

Heat treatment that prevents discoloration increases uses of this fast growing wood ...
The Cedarburg Covered Bridge, WI was one of the bridges included in this study. Stan Lebow, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 10
New Guide Advises Treatments and Technologies To Protect Historic Wooden Bridges

Forest Service and university researchers collaborate to evaluate methods of protecting wooden bridges from fire and biodegradation. ...
The ability of chemicals to move in cell walls enables fastener corrosion and decay to occur. Stan Lebow, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 588
New Insight into Wood Damage Mechanisms

Wood fails because bad things start to happen when wood gets wet. Dimensional stability, mold growth, fungal attack, fastener corrosion, all are caused by fluctuations in moisture or an abundance of moisture in the wood. This research presents a new ...
The localized stiffness of thin paper materials can now be measured with a single test. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 444
New Method Measures Localized Stiffness of Thin Paper Materials with a Single Test

Forest Products Laboratory researchers have developed a method to measure localized stiffness of thin paper materials with a single test. Although developed for use on problems in the paper industry, this equipment and analysis are equally useful for ...
Preliminary state diagram of water in wood constructed from literature data on the glass transitions of wood polymers and calorimetric studies on water in wood Samuel Zelinka, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 650
New Model for Understanding the Fiber Saturation Point of Wood

The fiber saturation point is a key measure of how much water can be held within wood before free water forms in empty spaces within wood structure. Forest Service researchers developed a new model to understand how bound and free water are partition ...
Solar cells fabricated on cellulose nanocrystal films open the door for truly recyclable solar cell technology. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 447
New Process Fabricates Efficient Reclyclable Solar Cells Using Natural Substrates

Solar cells fabricated on optically transparent cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) films reach a power conversion efficiency of 2.7 percent, an unprecedented figure for cells on substrates derived from renewable raw materials. Additionally, these solar cell ...

Highlight ID: 3
New SPORL Process Efficiently Converts Biomass to Sugars and Ferment

Preliminary laboratory evaluation confirms the high performance of the SPORL process for pretreatment of Douglas fir ...
The details of how a wood veneer is cut dramatically effects surface quality. These pictures show bits of wood (white) torn off veneers that were cut at different temperatures. Anti Rohumaa, Aalto University.
Highlight ID: 661
New Test of Raw Material Quality Improves the Strength of Wood Laminates

Plywood and laminated veneer lumber are built from wood veneers. Because the test for surface quality of the veneer was not very useful, Forest Service scientists developed a quick, easy method that tells us how to determine what veneers will make st ...
Highlight ID: 287
Nonresidential Building Construction in the United States,

The construction of low-rise nonresidential buildings is an important market for lumber, structural and nonstructural wood panels, and engineered wood products. Consumption in 2008 was substantially higher than in 2003, and helped maintain solid wood ...

Highlight ID: 187
North America's pellet sector

The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory's nationwide mission to assess the wood sector's status and trends placed this research within its sphere. In collaboration with the Endowment for Forest Communities, through the University of Tennessee, a comprehe ...
The Tucker Renewable Natural Gas unit is a new bioenergy technology that uses wood such as forest biomass as its fuel source. Richard Bergman, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 577
Novel Technology Uses Waste Wood to Make Bioenergy while Sequestering Carbon

Wood companies need high-value uses for wood residues. A new technology developed by Forest Service researchers and their partners converts wood residues into high-value products such as biochar while producing bioenergy. The researchers are measurin ...
A highly unusual yeast, Spathaspora passalidarum, is benefitting biofuels production. Tom Kuster, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 11
Novel Yeast Makes Bioconversion Faster and Less Expensive

Faster, cheaper biofuel production is possible for commercial use ...
D. Jean Lodge measuring the extent of mushroom mycelia on the forest floor three months after a simulated hurricane treatment in which limbs and leaves were trimmed from the canopy and deposited on the forest floor in the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico. Josh Brown, University of New Hampshire
Highlight ID: 615
Opening the Forest Canopy Slows Leaf Decomposition and Nutrient Cycling

Forest canopies are opened by thinning, logging operations, and storms. Results of a simulated hurricane experiment showed canopy opening had the greatest effect in slowing leaf decomposition and nutrient release. Losses of nitrogen to ground water o ...
The 100% sustainable stage set for the 20th Century Fox show “Raising Hope.” John Zachary, 20th Century Fox
Highlight ID: 451
Panels Made from Wood and Recycled Fibers Go To Hollywood and Around the World

The Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory is moving sustainable structural panel forming technology from the laboratory to commercial reality. The laboratory is working with Noble Environment Technologies of San Diego through a cooperative rese ...

Highlight ID: 164
Particleboard Panels Manufactured from Rice Straws of Different Geometries

Faced with worldwide shortages of forest resources, environmental pollution and waste of biological resources resulting from field burning of rice straw and other agriculture residues, there has been a revival of interest in using rice straw and othe ...
Bio-based boards have many applications and are produced from renewable sources including forest thinnings and recycled paper fibers. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 28
Partnership Produces 3D (3-Dimensional) Engineered Fiberboard Panels

Naturally bonded boards can use fibers produced from a variety of renewable sources including wood from forest thinnings and recycled paper fibers ...
Tsunami damaged building in the town of Dichato, Chile, 2010. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 179
Performance of Wood Structural Systems in Earthquake Zones

FPL scientists were actively involved in field assessments of low-rise structures, particularly wood structures, looking for seismic and tsunami damage in Concepcin, San Pedro de la Paz, Talcahuano, and Dichato. Presentations were made to Chilean woo ...
Computer-based simulation tools allow designers to gauge the risk of moisture problems in building design. Tivoli Gough, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 581
Possibilities and Pitfalls of Computer Simulation for Building Moisture Analysis

Moisture problems are much less expensive to correct in the building design phase than after the building is constructed. Computer-based simulation tools allow designers to gauge the risk of moisture problems. Although simulation can be useful as a d ...
Sweetgum plantation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory Free-Air CO2 Enrichment study site. Jeffrey M. Warren, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Highlight ID: 609
Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Tree Bark

Evidence shows changes in bark chemistry from an elevated carbon dioxide treatment applied to sweetgum trees. ...
Aqueous extract solutions under different pretreatments. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 306
Pretreating Wood Chips for Manufacturing Medium Density Fiberboard

FPL researchers studied how pretreating wood chips before manufacturing medium density fiberboard affected both the end product and the amount of carbohydrates extracted as a potential resource for biofuels or bio-based chemical production. ...
Typical aspen slash wood (left) and flakes (right) sliced from the slash wood. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 307
Producing Value-Added Composite Panels from Aspen Slash Wood

The disposal of forest thinning residue is a concern when looking at sustainable forest management. Researchers found this material could be a valuable resource for commercially available structural panel products. ...
The structure model of the new glycoside hydrolase family 30-8 (GH30-8) xylanase (green) overlaid with the previously determined protein structure of a canonical GH30-8 xylanase (blue) indicating that although the new xylanase is functionally unique, it does not structurally differ from the canonical GH30-8 xylanases (top). An alignment showing the specific region of primary amino acid sequence containing the altered sequence (red boxes) attributed to the observed difference in mode of action of this new enzyme against its xylan substrate. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 613
Protein Structure and Biochemical Characterization of a Novel Functioning Xylanase

Scientists identified and characterized a xylanase with unique function that may have applications in processing of woody biomass substrate. ...

Highlight ID: 157
Public Access to Actual Data Files for Cone Calorimeter Tests of Wood Products

The cone calorimeter test is a fire test used internationally for research and development of new fire retardants and to provide input data to models for predicting the reaction of building materials to fire and the spread of a fire within a building ...

Highlight ID: 171
Recalculating the Decay Hazard Index

Climate index values for estimating decay hazard to wood exposed outdoors above ground, commonly known as Scheffer index values, were calculated for 280 locations in the United States (270 locations in the conterminous United States) using the most c ...
Life-cycle assessments help compares the environmental impacts of using wood decking versus non-traditional products. Tivoli Gough, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 441
Redwood Decking is a Good Choice for the Environment

Building products produce emissions throughout their lifespan, from harvest and manufacturing to use and final disposal. Using building products with low emissions, including greenhouse gases, will mitigate climate change. From cradle-to-grave, redwo ...
Forest Service researchers are developing films for water decontamination using cellulose nanofibers. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 450
Removing Organic Compounds from Water with Reusable Nanofiber Films

Researchers produced films for water decontamination using cellulose nanofibers as a matrix material for the suspension of photocatalytic nano particles. ...
Fruit bodies of sequenced wood decay fungi Bjerkandera adusta (right image) and Ganoderma species (left image). Robert Blanchette, University of Minnesota
Highlight ID: 446
Research Demystifies Wood Decaying Fungi

Newly sequenced fungal genomes provide insight into the enzymatic conversion of wood into high value products. ...
Image 1: A picture of PbXynA1 (an xylanases enzyme) with the a xylooligosaccharide (sugar polymer) bound into the active site. Image 2: A close up revealing a large pocket not previously observed in other xylanases (enzymes) of this family. Franz St John, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 452
Researchers Determine the Structure of Bacterial Protein Involved in Biomass Conversion

Researchers structurally characterized a bacterial protein involved in biomass degradation. The knowledge obtained from this novel protein suggest that it may function better than comparable enzymes in targeting complex lignocellulosic biomass. ...
Rice straw appears to be a promising agricultural residue for manufacturing composite panels. William M. Brown Jr.,
Highlight ID: 308
Rice Straw Particleboard

There has recently been a revival of interest in using agriculture residues to produce particleboards and other composite panels due to competition for wood raw materials and for economical and environmental considerations. This study looks at the ef ...

Highlight ID: 175
Scale-up of cellulose nano material production

There is considerable research internationally on cellulose nano-materials as reinforcement fibers for high strength composites. A persistent problem has been unavailability of cellulose nano-crystals (CNC) and nano-fibrillated cellulose (NFC), the r ...
FPL research looks to improve the safety of pulp bleaching at paper mills. Thinkstock
Highlight ID: 448
Scientists Determine Critical Factors that Caused Peroxide Explosion in Paper Mill

In 2001, a peroxide bleach stage at a paper mill in Evadale, Texas, exploded, rupturing two bleaching towers, destroying a pump, and propelling fragments over 800 yards in all directions. There were no fatalities in this incident, but unfortunately, ...
A new, portable tree testing tool for determining the hazard potential of urban trees. R. Bruce Allison, Allison Tree Care, Inc.
Highlight ID: 655
Scientists Develop New Tool to Detect Internal Decay in Trees

Through collaboration with an industrial partner, the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory helped develop a handheld tool to assist tree inspectors with detecting internal decay in standing trees. ...
The brown rot fungus Fibroporia radiculosa is very tolerant to copper. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 24
Scientists Find the Achilles' Heel of Wood Fungi Tolerance to Preservatives

Inhibiting the enzymatic pathway in copper tolerant brown rot fungi can block its tolerance of commercial wood preservatives ...
Bridge No. 738 located in Yakima County, Washington, remains in satisfactory condition after 75 years of service. James Wacker, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 434
Scientists Study True Longevity of Timber Highway Bridges

Do timber bridges last longer than concrete or steel bridges in similar climates This national project aims to generate more reliable data about the true longevity of timber bridges in the U.S. and allows for more accurate life-cycle assessments in t ...
Researchers are developing seismic performance factors for cross laminated timber buildings in the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 657
Seismic Performance of Cross-Laminated Timber Buildings

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings are becoming popular in earthquake regions of the United States, but structural engineers need new design methods. Forest Service research is striving to develop methods to design CLT buildings to six stories an ...
Short cellulose nanofibrils isolated from wood. DSimaging, LLC
Highlight ID: 587
Short Cellulose Nanofibrils Reinforce Aligned Polyvinyl Alcohol Fibers

Cellulose nanomaterials have recently gained much attention for their potential use for reinforcing polymers and for use in functional materials. Forest Service researchers developed procedures for creating short cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) that are ...
Chemical modification can make cellulose nanocrystals compatible with polymer resins and thermoplastics. Greg Scheunaman, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 660
Site-Selective Surface Modification of Cellulose Nanocrystals

Forest Service researchers The hydrophilic surfaces of cellulose nanocrystals are synthetically converted to highly reactive functional groups. ...
Researchers are investigating the softening behavior of difficult-to-pelletize biomass and its effect on pelletizing. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 288
Softening of Biomass and Its Effect on Fuel Pellet Production

Biomass such as torrefied wood or wheat straw are of increasing interest as fuel but are difficult to pelletize. Researchers are investigating the softening behavior of these materials to improve the pelletization process. ...

Highlight ID: 190
Sol-gel technology to enhance performance properties of wood or wood fiber

With support from industry partners, FPL researchers are developing new sol-gel technologies to enhance performance properties of wood or wood fiber. Sol-gel technologies are wet-chemical techniques that are widely used in the fields of materials sci ...
Bonded wood panel products made with soy adhesives. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 309
Soy-based Adhesives for Wood Products

Soy-based adhesives developed at FPL have been commercialized and allow wood manufacturers to replace adhesives based on fossil fuel with biomass-based adhesives. ...

Highlight ID: 172
Soy-Based Adhesives Provide Wood Composites That Meet California Emission Standards

Ashland- Hercules, working cooperatively with the Forest Products Laboratory, have developed these soy adhesives and have commercialized them for interior plywood, engineered wood flooring and particleboard. This technology also allows wood manufactu ...
The LeMay - America
Highlight ID: 432
Study Analyzes Construction Trends to Determine Wood's Potential

By analyzing construction trends from 2011, Forest Service researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory found that the opportunity exists for a nearly three-fold increase in the use of wood building materials in new low-rise nonresidential buildings ...
The only difference between these plywood samples is the direction of cracks in the wood, which obviously affected the adhesive-performance (right image) test results. Anti Rohumaa, Aalto University
Highlight ID: 435
Success of Wood Veneers Influenced by Harvesting Season and Temperature: Plywood Performance and Failure: A New Understanding

Cooperation with Finnish researchers results in new understanding of relationships between veneer processing, veneer properties, and product failure. ...
Panels made of recycled fiber and based on FPL research are being commercialized. Steve Schmieding, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 322
Technology Transfer in Action

FPL-developed panels made from forest residuals, recycled fiber, and agricultural by-products are being commercialized by two start-up companies. ...
Forest Service scientist D. Jean Lodge (left) and collaborator Urmas Koljalg from Estonia after collecting soil near a large tropical tree that forms beneficial root associations with mushroom and other basidiomycete fungi in the El Verde Research Area of the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. Urmas Koljalg, Natural History Museum of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Highlight ID: 611
Temperate and Boreal Fungi Less Sensitive to Climate Change than Tropical Fungi

Beneficial fungi that help tree roots obtain nutrients from soil are less sensitive to climate in temperate and boreal forests than in tropical forests, but the same is true for root pathogens. ...
Termites dusted with N
Highlight ID: 155
Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail

Regarding Wisconsin termines, laboratory tests were initiated to evaluate transfer of a number of different dusting compounds to un-dusted colony mates with varied results. ...
The Xylotron uses machine-visioning technology to identify wood species. John Hermanson, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 585
The Xylotron: A Field-Deployable Machine-Vision Wood Identification System

The Xylotron is a machine-vision-based wood identification system that uses a custom-designed wood imaging device (the Xyloscope), image analysis, and statistical processing software run from a laptop/netbook. With it, users can identify over 150 spe ...
Forest Service researcher conducts an in-grade bending test on Southern pine. David Kretschmann, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 440
Traditional Grading System Updated for Structural Lumber

The Forest Products Laboratory has traditionally provided unbiased information on the properties, characteristics, design, and use of structural wood products to groups and agencies that develop or control standards for ensuring public safety and hea ...
Simplified schematic representation of a cross-flow energy recovery ventilator core that allows transfer of heat and moisture to incoming supply air from exhaust air. This core helps maintain indoor conditions while bringing in fresh outdoor air. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 606
Understanding Impacts of Ventilation on Moisture Levels in Homes

"Build tight, ventilate right" is good for reducing energy use in homes. Ventilation can also change the moisture levels in homes, affecting both human comfort and structural durability. A Forest Service scientist investigated how to predict changes ...
Illustration of moisture sources and sinks in a typical home. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 607
Understanding Soil Gas Entry Into Homes

Your home sits on the ground, and hence is influenced by soil gas that can add both moisture and radon to your indoor air. A Forest Service scientist investigated how much moisture enters a home through soil gas infiltration, and what physical factor ...
Completed efficacy trial plots on the Chipola Experimental Forest. USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 603
USFS Termiticide Report for 2014

The most recent efficacy data for termiticides currently on the market were reported as part of the USDA Forest Service Termiticide Testing Program. This report allows consumers and applicators nationwide to examine the relative performance of these ...
High-resolution laser scan image of a log with detected defect areas highlighted and acoustic waves passing through. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 656
Using New Technologies to Improve Log Defect Detection

Scientists from the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory and Northern Research Station cooperated with West Virginia University to enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. hardwood lumber industry by improving the accuracy of log internal defec ...
New model of wood cellulose in never-dried and dried states. Umesh Agarwal, USDA Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 619
Using Raman Spectroscopy to Analyze Wood, Cellulose-Nanomaterials, and Their Composites

Raman spectroscopy provides information based on molecular vibrations and is well-suited to analyze wood and cellulose-nanomaterials. Using a recently developed method to determine the fraction of cellulose that is in a crystalline region, this resea ...
Researchers are studying soy-based adhesives for wood products. Steve Schmeiding, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Highlight ID: 666
Using Soybeans to Replace Synthetic Adhesives for Wood Bonding

Soybeans were used to glue the first plywood but were replaced by fossil-fuel-based adhesives after World War II. Scientists at the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory have helped soy adhesives return to plywood and are helping to find more a ...
Researchers are studying the freezing and melting of water in solid wood to learn about wood decay and faster corrosion processes. Tatiana Morozova,
Highlight ID: 15
Water Freezing in Wood: How Low Can It Go

The freezing and melting of water in wood gives clues about how water bonds to wood during processes such as wood decay and fastener corrosion ...
The edible black poplar mushroom, Agrocybe aegerita. Forest Service
Highlight ID: 176
Water, Air, and Soil

Forest fungi perform an essential role in recycling woody plant debris and have many potential applications in biotechnology. In 2009, a Forest Products Laboratory chemist worked for ten months as a Senior Fulbright Awardee at the International Gradu ...
The Fairbanks House demonstrates design and construction details that have allowed this wood structure to stand for  three centuries. Jeffery Howe, Boston College
Highlight ID: 2
Wood Can Last for Centuries if Protected From Moisture

Report dispels myths about wood construction through proper information that educates and empowers the public ...
Installation of a cross-laminated timber panel for Promega building in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Steve Schmieding, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 439
Wood Construction Goes Beyond Its Traditional Roots

As interest in sustainable building options continues to grow. Wood construction is going beyond its traditional roots in housing and expanding into mid-rise, high-rise, and non-residential applications. To support this trend, a new U.S. guide for th ...

Highlight ID: 177
Wood decay enters new era of genomics research

Over the past decade, research collaborations between the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) have resulted in major advances on understanding the fundamental genetics of the fungi responsible ...
DAME crystals on a smoldering mesquite tree in Alamo Canyon, ArizLaurence A. J. Garvie, Arizona State University
Highlight ID: 610
Wood Decay Fungus Forms Toxic Organohalogen Crystals in Mesquite

A Forest Service scientist identified toxic organohalogen crystals formed by fungi in decaying mesquite. Charcoal production and forest fires in the Southwest could release significant quantities of this compound into the atmosphere. ...
This research will improve the durability of wood-plastic composite deckboards such as the one shown here being evaluated for color. Nicole Stark, USDA Forest Service
Highlight ID: 584
Wood Flour Extraction Improves Moisture Performance of Wood-Plastic Composites

Improving the moisture performance of wood-plastic composites provides a potential avenue toward improving the product's overall durability. Forest Service scientists evaluated methods for pre-treating the wood flour before incorporation into the pla ...
Fire retardant treatments can reduce the contribution of wood-plastic composites to a fire. Craig Clemons, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 6
Wood-Plastic Composites Are More Desirable With Fire Retardant Treatments

Wood-plastic composites treated with fire retardants addresses fire concerns in the wildland-urban interface ...
Beetle-killed lodgepole pine fiber treated with potassium methyl siliconate. Cheng Piao, Louisiana State University
Highlight ID: 453
Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Fiber Pre-Treatment

Scientists determine the dimensional stability of wood-plastic composites can be improved by treating wood sawdust and particles derived from beetle-killed trees with potassium methyl siliconate before incorporating the wood into high-density polyeth ...
Hollow glass microspheres in wood-plastic composites.  Rebecca Wallace, Forest Service
Highlight ID: 12
Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Glass

Adding microsized glass particles to wood-plastic composites creates a less dense but stiffer material for use in a variety of building applications ...