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Nanotechnology Potential in Forest Products Industry

The forest products industry is an approximately $260 billion sector in the US economy. It accounts for six percent of the US manufacturing output, and employs over 900,000 people. The forest products industry produces many products, such as solid wood lumber, wood-based composites (plywood, oriented strandboard, particleboard, fiberboard, three-dimensional engineered fiberboard), engineered structural members (I-beam, finger-jointed wood), wood-plastic composites (decking), and paper products (paper, filters, packaging, corrugated containers).

Nanotechnology offers the potential to transform the forest products industry in virtually all aspects, including production processes (raw materials, engineered wood and wood-based materials), improved energy efficiencies, new applications for composite and paper products, and composites made from cellulose nanocrystals.

Two Paradigms of Nanotechnology in the Forest Products Industry