UMaine recieves patent for process to create formaldehyde-free particle board.
ORONO, Maine (WABI) - UMaine has received a patent for a process to create building material out of cellulose nanofibrils.
The process uses a gel like substance made of very small cellulose fibers combined with chips of wood.
When pressed and dried, the right blend provides a hard material at least as strong as traditional particle board.
Each panel currently takes about an hour to produce, but commercial production could reduce that.
One of the primary benefits is the absence of binding resin containing formaldehyde, which can off-gas from traditional particle board.
Doug Bousfield, UMaine professor of chemical engineering, hopes to find a company interested in licensing the patent for use in products.
”Particle board that doesn’t use these formaldehyde based resins... Companies like IKEA may get interested in buying it over the standard particle board.”
Other potential applications for the material are being researched, too, including replacements for Styrofoam and single use plastics.
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