Friday, 05 April 2013 12:30

UMaine Shows Off One Of A Kind Machinery At Its "Paper Days" Event

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Wednesday marked the 63rd annual "Paper Days" at the University of Maine.

The event coordinated by the UMaine Pulp & Paper Foundation drew paper industry leaders, researchers, and students from around the world

The day was especially exciting for UMaine students. 

"It's a huge opportunity to network and get internships and jobs. You know, people get internships from 'Paper Day' if you're a student, so it's a big deal for University of Maine students and the Pulp & Paper Foundation," said senior Lucas Mathers. 

But this "Paper Days" was a cut above the rest.

"This particular 'Paper Day' is all about innovation so were looking at what's new coming out on the horizon for the forest product industry and were highlighting nanocellulose which is a technology for the future," said Mike Bilodeau, Director of the UMaine Process Development Center. 

Throughout the day the university showed off its Cellulose Nanofiber Pilot Plant, the nation's first plant of its kind. 

But what is this state of the art technology useful for? 

"Considered for food thickeners, noncaloric food thickeners, for yogurts, milk shakes, its also used in coatings and paper and make packaging lighter," said Bilodeau. 

"Businesses can come and do their own work and get that advantage that they need," said Hemant Pendse, Director of UMaine's Forest BioProducts Research Institute. 

The benefits this new machinery could have are endless, and are especially impressive to someone who worked in the paper industry for over twenty years.

"It's great for the University of Maine Orono. It's great for the forest products here in the state of Maine and I think it offers a lot of potential for the forest products industry here in the state of Maine," said Rep. Mike Michaud.

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