ORONO — Researchers at the University of Maine are receiving $700,000 in grants to develop environmentally friendly particleboard panels.
The money is from P3Nano, a public-private partnership started by the federal Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the U.S. Forest Service.
One $350,000 grant will help UMaine scientists to make strong, recyclable particleboard panels for use as countertops, doors and furniture. Another grant will help the university to build a commercial scale plant to manufacture two tons of cellulose nanofibrils per day. UMaine researchers say cellulose nanofibrils are an adhesive that is an alternative to formaldehyde. A Massachusetts company is collaborating with the university on the plant, which will be built at a Turners Falls, Massachusetts mill.
UMaine’s proposals and seven others that are receiving grants were among 65 submissions.