US Endowment issues RFP to advance commercialization of cellulosic nanomaterial through P3Nano, a public-private partnership founded with US Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory; deadline for proposals is July 1

GREENVILLE, South Carolina , April 30, 2014 (press release) – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) today announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) to advance the commercialization of cellulosic nanomaterial through P3Nano – a public-private partnership founded with the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory. The partnership has dedicated about $3 million to fund proposals that rapidly advance the commercialization of this promising technology through application in green products of the future. P3Nano will accept proposals from any qualified individual, university, company, or research organization.

Cellulose nano crystals and fibrils are simply natural structural building units that are abundant, renewable, sustainable, and originate from trees. Materials at the nanoscale possess unique properties and can facilitate the development of new, high-value products such as: packaging, automotive components, paper and paperboard, cement, polymer composites, medical applications, defense applications, electronics, and aircraft components. Cellulosic nanomaterial has the potential to create additional demand for wood-based products and open markets for low value wood generated from forest restoration efforts. Expanding and healthy forest product markets help keep forests as forests while helping to ensure their health.

Cellulosic nanomaterial has exceptional strength and is considerably lighter weight and less expensive compared to many other competing materials. A nanometer is one millionth of a meter or about 1/100,000th the width of a human hair. When products are generated from woody cellulose at the nanoscale they possess novel properties that offer new opportunities to create products of the future, which come from a renewable, sustainable material.

Persons or organization’s wishing to submit a proposal should view the RFP and respond by the review deadline of July 1, 2014. While P3Nano is open to a broad range of proposals, priority will be given to:

  • Environmental health and safety of cellulosic nanomaterial
  • Cellulose nanomaterial dewatering
  • New/novel composites containing cellulose nanomaterial
  • Fundamental studies on cellulose surfaces focused on improving the interface between cellulose particles and typical composite resins
  • Development of photonic and electronic enabled materials using cellulose nanomaterial  Manufacturing cost analysis including +/- 30 capital cost estimate, mass and energy balance and cost sensitivity analysis for production of a cellulose nanomaterial; and,
  • Other new/novel applications of cellulose nanomaterial

P3Nano has already awarded its foundational grant focusing on the environmental health and safety of cellulosic nanomaterial, making the understanding of the environmental impacts and public safety of the material a top priority.

Michael Goergen, Director of P3Nano noted, “Our partnership is designed to help keep America’s forests and forest-based economy healthy and sustainable through the development and use of wood-based fiber for a wide-range of commercial products. Advances in cellulosic nanotechnology will help diversify the economy; create new family-supporting jobs; provide materials for a new green economy, and contribute to critical forest restoration needs of working forests across all ownerships.” He emphasized that P3Nano’s over-riding objective in its first three years is to facilitate the commercialization of cellulosic nanomaterial in the United States.

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About the Endowment: The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities – www.usendowment.org About the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory: The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is the Nation’s leading Federal wood utilization research laboratory and serves the entire United States. The FPL develops science and technology to conserve, extend, and sustainably utilize forest resources in order to improve the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests to meet the needs of current and future generations.

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