Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information  / News  / News Releases  / Release

News Releases

Nanocellulose Pilot Plant to be Unveiled at Forest Products Lab

Production facility for renewable, forest-based nanomaterials first of its kind in the United States.

Contact: Rebecca Wallace
Distributed July 16th, 2012
NR # 20120716
view PDF »
view Word »
MADISON, Wis. - The U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is poised to become the country's leading producer of forest-based nanomaterials with the opening of a $1.7 million nanocellulose pilot plant. The facility will support an emerging market for new wood-derived renewable materials that will create jobs and contribute an estimated $600 billion to the economy by 2020.

High-ranking industry, government, and academic officials will gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and media is welcome to attend.

WhatGrand Opening of FPL's Nanocellulose Pilot Plant
WhenWednesday, July 25th, 2012
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Presentations by USDA, Forest Service, and Industry Leadership
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Ribbon cutting and media opportunities for interviews
WhereU.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI
WhoAttendees include USDA Under Secretary Harris Sherman, Forest Service Northern Research Station Director and FPL Acting Director Michael T. Rains, and industry representatives from companies such as IBM and Lockheed Martin

TEM micrograph of electrospun polymethyl methacrylate fibers.

View this video for an overview of nanotech applications related to wood and wood products.
The United States and other nations will see numerous benefits from the commercialization of wood-derived cellulosic nanomaterials, as they have many desirable characteristics. They can be stronger than Kevlar fiber and provide high strength with low weight. These attributes have attracted the interest of the military for use in lightweight armor and ballistic glass, as well as companies in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, and medical device industries.

As new lightweight, high-performance products are developed and commercialized, fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced, manufacturing in rural areas will increase, and many new high-paying jobs will be created. FPL's new facility will aid in the commercialization of these materials by providing researchers and early adopters of the technology with working quantities of forest-based nanomaterials.

For over 100 years, FPL's work with academia, industry, and other government agencies has led to ground-breaking discoveries with great benefit to the public. Additional information on FPL's research is available at