The University of Maine has received a patent for a process to create more environmentally friendly construction materials using a slurry of tiny cellulose fibers derived from wood.
“In a way it's like wood gluing wood together,” says UMaine Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Professor Doug Bousfield. Bousfield is the co-inventor of the process, and he says that, when dried, this combination of wood chips and cellulose nanofibers becomes a hard material that can be shaped into boards without the use of formaldehyde.
“The biggest advantage of this is that you have no formaldehyde off-gassing of these products, so if they're inside a building, you'd have much lower danger, anyway, of formaldehyde in the air that we breath.”
Bousfield says the process can also use off- grade, or waste wood.
UMaine says it is actively seeking a development partner for the technology.