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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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Nanotechnology and Forest Products

A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is fast becoming the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products. The opening of FPL's Nanocellulose Pilot Plant in 2012 has garnered worldwide recognition by industry specialists and the popular press.

Using structural, chemical, and mechanical techniques, interdisciplinary teams of scientists scientists continue to expand FPL's nanocellulose research program.
From industry advocate TAPPI - Two overviews of nanotechnology applications related to wood and wood products
Nanocellulose, Rethink Paper
Renewable and sustainable

What is nanotechnology?

fpl Nanotechnology is a multi-disciplinary field of applied science and technology. The general theme is understanding and engineering matter at the atomic and molecular scales. The nanoscale ranges from 1 to 100 nanometers in at least one dimension. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or about 80,000 times thinner than a typical human hair.

This is not merely the study of small things, however. It is the research and development of materials, devices, and systems exhibiting physical, chemical, and biological properties different from those found at larger scales. FPL scientists are conducting nanoscale research to learn more about the fundamental components of wood.

The ability to organize, characterize, and manipulate matter at the nanoscale has launched a revolution in science, engineering, and technology. These unique properties are what make potential nanomaterials and nanotechnology so promising to scientists and engineers. With careful attention to potential risks and promising rewards, nanotechnology has massive potential to drive global economic growth.