Nanocellulose research sees new funding at UMaine

Dr. Hemant Pendse and his team at the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) received welcome news as it is slotted to receive $4.8 million to upgrade the Old Town facility.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) awarded FBRI $4.8 million for its research in crafting renewable fuel, heating oil, chemicals, plastics and other goods from woody biomass at a large scale. Institute director Hemant Pendse says his team will invest about $2 million in processing technology infrastructure improvements for the off-campus TRC facility, as well as the on-campus PDC facility, with the balance supporting ongoing research.

Equipment added to TRC, located on the pulp mill site in Old Town, will help researchers process biochar, charcoal derived from the pyrolysis of wood, as well as pre-process biomass. Upgrades at PDC will boost nanocellulose production.

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