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Advancing cellulose-based nanotechnology

Wegner, T.H., Jones, P.E.
Cellulose 2006 v.13 no.2 pp. 115
cellulose, lignocellulose, nanotechnology, forest products, wood chemistry, research and development, federal government, United States
Nanotechnology has applications across most economic sectors and allows the development of new enabling science with broad commercial potential. Cellulose and lignocellulose have great potential as nanomaterials because they are abundant, renewable, have a nanofibrillar structure, can be made multifunctional, and self-assemble into well-defined architectures. To exploit their potential, R&D investments must be made in the science and engineering that will fully determine the properties and characteristics of cellulose and lignocellulose at the nanoscale, develop the technologies to manipulate self-assembly and multifunctionallity, and develop these new technologies to the point where industry can produce advanced and cost-competitive cellulose and lignocellulose-based products. Because many of the findings on nanostructues and nanoprocesses are not yet fully measurable, replicable, or understood, it will take substantial R&D investments. To most effectively and efficiently move forward, increased cooperation must occur among the cellulose/lignocellulose R&D community, the federal departments and agencies having interests and ongoing programs in nanotechnology, and industry. Cooperation is critical to capturing synergies, enhancing accomplishments, and avoiding unwarranted duplication of facilities and efforts.