NCSU National Needs Fellows: Department of Forest Biomaterials

Wood and Fiber Engineering is a critical research area for multiple reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Supports inevitable need to develop sustainable and environmentally begnin resources for society
  • Decreases dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuels
  • Improves economics of the forest/wood based industry
  • New products needed to reinvent domestic companies to compete with international competitors

It is our expectation that new forest based materials will flourish into a future globally-interconnected, advanced technology, but for this to happen, we need excellent research leaders in the field.

The future economic health of the U.S. could be greatly enhanced by extending plant-based materials for new, high-value, high-volume products that can be effectively recycled because of its extensive agricultural and forest product industries. The industries involved in these technologies will demand research leaders with adequate skills to carry out and develop new frontiers of research. It is a matter of national strategic importance to maintain strong programs of education and research to support domestic industries.

Unlike petroleum-based synthetic plastics, advanced wood and fiber based materials are renewable and can be produced in a sustainable manner. Great examples of wood and fiber-based materials that are under development within our program include:

  • Carbon fibers from wood, cellulose, and lignin as a targeted replacement of plastics and fiberglass for automotive and other applications
  • Electrospun carbon fibers for manufacture of fuel and solar cells
  • Hemicellulose utilized to produce super absorbents for personal care products and diapers
  • Improved building materials
    • More energy efficient
    • Lower maintenance cost
    • More structurally sound
    • More environmentally friendly

Please use our website to learn about our Fellows, their current research, and how they are sharing their results with the research community.

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