Paper360 - January/February 2012 - (Page 8)
Thinking SMALL Is
Leading to BIG Changes
The August 2006 inaugural issue of Paper360° featured nanotechnology and its role in the pulp and paper industry. Six years later, this game-changing technology is flourishing.
COLLEEN WALKER, PH.D.
oo small to see but too big to ignore, nanotechnology is helping improve products that we use every day, and creating new, exciting products for the future. Also—and not least of all—it could be a potential savior of the pulp and paper industry. It is easy to get lost in the technical aspects of this revolutionary new science defined by the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative as “the science, engineering, and
technology conducted at the nanoscale— about 1–100 nanometers.” But it is simply a new tool with endless potential to unlock how we currently treat, process, and use raw materials. It is like getting glasses for the first time and being able to see what we didn’t know was always there—just beneath the surface. As with any new significant scientific development, there are great opportunities for research, business and society. In his June 2011 address at TAPPI’s International Conference
on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials, Mico Roco from the National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative, estimated the global potential market for products using nanotechnology at nearly US$1 trillion by 2015, and US$3 trillion by 2020, with wood products estimated to capture 20% of this market.1 While there are a lot of nano materials, the one most relevant to our wood-based industry is nanocrystalline cellulose, a renewable, recyclable and abundant nano material made of
Wood CNCs. Source: R.J. Moon, A. Martini, J. Nairn, J. Simonsen, J. Youngblood, “Cellulose Nanomaterials Review: Structure, Properties and Nanocomposites.” Chemical Society Reviews 40 (2011): 3941-3994. DOI:10.1039/C0CS00108B.
Paper360º JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - January/February 2012
Over the Wire . . . News Summary
Thinking Small Is Leading to Big Changes
Who’s in Control in the Packaging Industry?
The Problem of Paper Curl
Preventing Bacterial-Generated Gas Explosions
TAPPI JOURNAL summaries
Environmental Challenges for the Coming Decade
Paper360 - January/February 2012